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Current state and potential of additive – hybrid manufacturing for metal parts

Danielle Strong (Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Ohio, USA)
Issariya Sirichakwal (Department of Management, Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Ohio, USA)
Guha P. Manogharan (Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Ohio, USA)
Thomas Wakefield (Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Ohio, USA)

Rapid Prototyping Journal

ISSN: 1355-2546

Article publication date: 18 April 2017

1292

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the extent to which traditional manufacturers are equipped and interested in participating in a hybrid manufacturing system which integrates traditional processes such as machining and grinding with additive manufacturing (AM) processes.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey was conducted among traditional metal manufacturers to collect data and evaluate the ability of these manufacturers to provide hybrid – AM post-processing services in addition to their standard product offering (e.g. mass production).

Findings

The original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) surveyed have machine availability and an interest in adopting hybrid manufacturing to additionally offer post-processing services. Low volume parts which would be suitable for hybrid manufacturing are generally more profitable. Access to metal AM, process engineering time, tooling requirements and the need for quality control tools were equally identified as the major challenges for OEM participation in this evolving supply chain.

Practical implications

OEMs can use this research to determine if hybrid manufacturing is a possible fit for their industry using existing machine tools.

Originality/value

Survey data offer an unique insight into the readiness of metal manufacturers who play an integral role in the evolving hybrid supply chain ecosystem required for post-processing of AM metal parts. This study also suggests that establishing metal AM centers around OEMs as a shared resource to produce near-net AM parts would be beneficial.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the NIST AMTech program under Grant 70NANB15H070.

Citation

Strong, D., Sirichakwal, I., Manogharan, G.P. and Wakefield, T. (2017), "Current state and potential of additive – hybrid manufacturing for metal parts", Rapid Prototyping Journal, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 577-588. https://doi.org/10.1108/RPJ-04-2016-0065

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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