Additive manufacturing value chain adoption
Luomaranta, Toni; Martinsuo, Miia (2022)
Julkaisun pysyvä osoite on
Purpose Adopting additive manufacturing (AM) on a large-scale requires an adoption in company value chains. This may happen through product innovation and require interorganizational cooperation, but the value-adding potential of cooperation and application recognition is still poorly understood. This study aims to investigate the progress of AM adoption in innovation projects featuring AM application recognition and interorganizational cooperation in the value chain. Design/methodology/approach A multiple-case study was implemented in successful metallic AM adoption examples to increase the understanding of AM adoption in value chains. Primary data were collected through interviews and documents in three AM projects, and the data were analyzed qualitatively. Findings All three AM projects showed evidence of successful AM value chain adoption. Identifying the right application and the added value of AM within it were crucial starting points for finding new value chains. Interorganizational collaboration facilitated both value-based designs and experimentation with new supply chains. Thereby, the focal manufacturing company did not need to invest in AM machines. The key activities of the new value chain actors are mapped in the process of AM adoption. Research limitations/implications The cases are set in a business-to-business context, which narrows the transferability of the results. As a theoretical contribution, this paper introduces the concept of AM value chain adoption. The value-adding potential of AM is identified, and the required value-adding activities in collaborative innovation are reported. As a practical implication, the study reveals how companies can learn of AM and adopt AM value chains without investing in AM machines. They can instead leverage relationships with other companies that have the AM knowledge and infrastructure. Originality/value This paper introduces AM value chain adoption as a novel, highly interactive phase in the industry-wide adoption of metallic AM. AM value chain adoption is characterized in multi-company collaboration settings, which complements the single-company view dominant in previous research. Theory elaboration is offered through merging technology adoption with external integration from the information processing view, emphasizing the necessity of interorganizational cooperation in AM value chain adoption. Companies can benefit each other during AM adoption, starting with identifying the value-creating opportunities and applications for AM.
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