Oil company X had problems this spring. It was time for field maintenance, but company X couldn’t go ahead with it because it needed spare parts that weren’t coming anytime soon. Coronavirus-prompted lockdowns were breaking down international supply chains. Refinery Y had the same problem. It was maintenance time, and maintenance could not begin because of that same disruption to the supply chain. Refinery Y had to delay its maintenance, risking outages.
The problems of X and Y are very real and also dangerous. They also reveal one of the less pleasant aspects of the globalized economy: an overdependence on long international supply chains.
But there is an alternative to these long supply chains: additive manufacturing or 3D printing . Shortening the supply chain One of the advantages of additive manufacturing is that it can address problems such as the ones that companies X and Y were having amid […]
Above: PepsiCo food, snack, and beverage product line-up/Source: PepsiCo PepsiCo turned to tooling with 3D printing...