Sustainable Value Roadmapping Framework for Additive Manufacturing
Paper in proceedings, 2017
Recent developments around the use of additive manufacturing (AM) for making components and end-products is radically changing the way manufacturing activities are organized. Many researchers are now turning their attention to AM technology and its potential benefits for boosting economic, social, and environmental sustainability. However, there is still much uncertainty on the full impact from a life cycle perspective. Previous work has reviewed the implications of AM from a sustainability and life cycle point of view, but it is unclear whether the technology can fully realize the potential benefits identified, and whether it will lead to unintended consequences such as increased material consumption, thereby further straining the planet's carrying capacity and pushing society towards unsustainable, more materialistic values. This research builds on previous work to customize a tool, the Sustainable Value Roadmapping Tool (SVRT), which combines the strategic roadmapping technique with the sustainable value analysis tool. Roadmapping is a well-established approach for businesses to strategically plan activities for the short-, medium- and long-term; combined with the value analysis tools, it can identify opportunities for sustainable value creation for all stakeholders, including society and the planet. While SVRT has been developed and tested in a more generic context (i.e. not technology-specific), it also has good promises to help companies to explore the potential benefits and challenges of AM adoption across products’ life cycle and the associated business model implications. This paper will present the prototype version of SVRT for AM. The findings consolidate and expand the opportunities and challenges already identified in the literature. Further work will conduct case studies to use the SVRT with companies adopting AM technology and better understand the sustainability impacts from a business perspective.