An Implementation Framework for Additive Manufacturing
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
The study presents a normative framework for the Additive Manufacturing (AM) implementation process in the UK manufacturing sector. The motivations for the study include the lack of socio-technical studies on the AM implementation process and the need for existing and potential future project managers to have an implementation model to guide their efforts in implementing these relatively new and potentially disruptive technologies. The study has been conducted through case research with the primary data collected through the in-depth semi-structured interviews with AM project managers. Seven case studies were conducted representing AM implementation practice at different stages of the implementation cycle. The first stage involved a pilot study at a post-implementer to identify the main areas of interest for AM implementation research. The second involved a wider study of AM implementers at the post-implementation stage with cross case analysis of implementation practice. The final stage involved an investigation into pre-implementation of AM, applying the proposed framework in three companies yet to fully implement AM as a production method. Contribution towards the existing body of literature was in the form of a normative framework for AM implementation in a variety of industrial sectors. The framework describes the main activities in the implementation process and supports a taxonomy of implementers.
PhD in Engineering