A funny thing happened on the way to writing this blog—Additive Manufacturing (AM) has grown up. Now, some may rightly say that AM has been around for decades. And it has. But there can be little doubt that the reach and scope of AM, or 3D printing, now touches virtually every aspect of industrial and, indeed, human activity. Certainly, Deloitte’s 3D Opportunity collection of thought leadership bears this out in the vast scope and depth of its coverage. And, of course, one can also point to any number of widely available metrics that makes clear AM’s remarkable strides—from number of patents to AM system revenues to how common the term “additive manufacturing” now appears in Google searches compared to just a few years ago.
A recently published Deloitte report titled “Matching strengths: A new wave of corporate alliances may be on the horizon,” highlights how business uncertainties stemming from globalization, changing demand patterns, and technological developments seems to have led to increased mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in the US in the past three years.1 These trends have touched the additive manufacturing (AM) sector—an area we’ve covered in depth over the years. M&A deals in AM are increasing in size and pace, particularly in the US, where many non-traditional 3D companies have entered the market.
We’ve just come back from the RAPID + TCT 2017 conference this week, a platform for specialists from various organizations to showcase their latest applications in the 3D printing space.1
Sometimes I avoid change. This is only natural; a lot of people do, at least some of the time. I like things that are comfortable and familiar, things that I understand and know my way around. I may steer clear of change because I worry that new can be risky, and that I might result in being worse off in the end–-a tendency known as loss aversion. Beyond loss aversion, however, change can be particularly challenging because it tends to have a ripple effect–one change necessitates another, then another, until you find yourself having to update everything. Anyone who has ever upgraded just one piece of technology in their office, or even updated just one appliance in their kitchen, can understand this phenomenon.
Posted by Bharat Parihar
I recently attended the Additive Manufacturing in Defense Forum organized by Deloitte Consulting LLP, where participant Paul Boulware, an EWI applications engineer of drove home one particular point: “To make one-inch cube of metal, it takes five miles of weld and half a day. As you are building these parts, knowing the quality of the part is crucial. You cannot wait to know that there is a problem in layer five or six or seven, after the part is built” [and therefore fail your quality control tests].
Posted by Mauricio Castro
Many companies want to adopt additive manufacturing (AM) technologies into their supply chain, but an essential link is missing: the “digital thread.” Jim Joyce, federal specialist leader in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Strategy & Operations consulting practice, says the digital thread could elevate 3D printing from a consumer curiosity to a supply chain supercharger that will potentially change the way products are made.
Posted by Mauricio Castro
The opportunities for additive manufacturing (AM) seem endless, but as anyone following disruptive technologies will note, there is also the opportunity for litigation. Matt Widmer, a principal with Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP and head of Deloitte’s Federal Advisory practice, has seen this happen numerous times. He believes that businesses interested in AM should take three things into consideration now:
Posted by Kagan Yaran
The use of additive manufacturing (AM) is growing rapidly in industries such as defense, auto, medical devices, and manufacturing as the technologies become more readily available, more advanced, and affordable. This growth gives rise to a dual challenge: the need to attract the next generation of workers with the twenty-first century skill sets for AM, and to train at least some of the incumbent workforce in AM processes and applications.
Posted by Michelle Drew Rodriguez
In the first two blog posts about the 2016 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index, I discussed country rankings and global competitiveness drivers uncovered in the Index which I coauthored with several colleagues at Deloitte (including Craig Giffi, Vice Chairman, US Automotive Leader and Tim Hanley, Global Manufacturing Leader) and in collaboration with the US Council on Competitiveness. The study follows earlier versions released in 2010 and 2013, and the findings are based on an in-depth analysis of survey responses from more than 500 chief executive officers and senior leaders at manufacturing companies around the world.
As a follow up to the posts on rankings and competitiveness drivers identified in the study, I also wanted to take a deeper look at how global manufacturing companies can succeed, which you can learn more about in the full study.
Five tips for global manufacturing success
Here are five key insights from the report that manufacturing executives should consider to position their companies for future competitiveness:
- Ensure talent is “the” top priority: A focus on creating differentiated talent acquisition, development and retention strategies to be regarded as “employers of choice,” as well as identifying and nurturing new models of collaboration that leverage key sources of talent outside of the organization will be key. As talent is ranked as the most important driver of competitiveness by executives around the world, the competition among nations and companies is expected to be fierce.
- Embrace advanced technologies to drive competitive advantage: Advanced technologies are increasingly underpinning global manufacturing competitiveness. Leading 21st century manufacturers have fully converged the digital and physical worlds where advanced hardware combined with advanced software, sensors, and massive amounts of data and analytics is expected to result in smarter products, processes, and more closely connected customers, suppliers, and manufacturing. Predictive analytics, the Internet-of-Things (IoT), both smart products and smart factories via Industry 4.0, as well as the development and use of advanced materials will be critical to future competitiveness.
- Leverage strengths of ecosystem partnerships beyond traditional boundaries: Adoption of innovation strategies aimed at embracing a broader ecosystem approach, developing and taking advantage of integrated manufacturing and technology clusters and partners, will be a growing imperative going forward. Competitiveness will be directly correlated to the strength and robustness of an organization’s collaborative networks and eco-systems.
- Develop a balanced approach across the global enterprise: Increasingly sophisticated tools and strategies will be required to optimize the global manufacturing enterprise from a talent, technology, operational, financial, tax and regulatory perspective. The core of this approach is achieving a successful balance across a variety of drivers, including talent management, innovation portfolio, cost competitiveness, manufacturing footprint and supply chain in challenging and rapidly evolving new markets. Indeed, both leading companies and countries are taking a more balanced approach by building a foundation for growth across multiple drivers of global competitiveness.
- Cultivate smart, strategic public private partnerships: Governments are becoming increasingly aware of the significant benefits a manufacturing industry provides to national economic prosperity. Likewise, manufacturing companies are keenly aware of the role government policy can play in their success. Therefore, many nations with unfavorable or overly bureaucratic manufacturing policies are working to improve and reform those, invest in greater economic development, and strengthen overall manufacturing infrastructure, while seeking to partner in more productive ways with businesses. Leading companies, in turn, are targeting new, smart and strategic public/private partnership models to help drive improvements not possible alone, resulting in non-traditional business-public sector alignments as the global competitive playing field undergoes a significant transformation at both the company and country level.
In summary, our full study offers a critical and timely jumping-off point for companies and economies as they make strategic investments in advanced manufacturing technologies and enact public policies designed to spur post-industrial era manufacturing growth. We hope, both government heads and company CEOs adopt key takeaways from this study to reshape the future of manufacturing.
Be sure to visit our GMCI Interactive Website to drill down into additional findings.
If you didn’t have an opportunity to view the first two post in the three part series, please be sure click the following links to read about additional findings from the Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index study: competitiveness rankings and drivers of manufacturing competitiveness.
Join the conversation on @DeloitteMFG #GMCI16
Posted by Michelle Drew Rodriguez
In the first blog post I recently wrote about the 2016 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index, which I coauthored with several colleagues at Deloitte (including Craig Giffi, Vice Chairman, US Automotive Leader and Tim Hanley, Global Manufacturing Leader) and in collaboration with the US Council on Competitiveness, I primarily discussed country rankings revealed in the Index. The study is modeled from earlier versions we released in 2010 and 2013, and the findings are based on an in-depth analysis of survey responses from more than 500 chief executive officers and senior leaders at manufacturing companies around the world. A number of interesting findings arose this year.