What’s holding businesses back from investing in additive manufacturing?

Posted on 22 May 2017 by Jonny Williamson

The latest Annual Manufacturing Report has revealed the key concerns UK businesses have regarding implementing additive manufacturing in their operations.

What’s holding businesses back from investing in additive manufacturing?After many years of hype-filled discussion, additive manufacturing has begun to make a significant, tangible difference to businesses in wide variety of sectors and geographies. However, adoption is currently lower than many expect.

Some of the principle benefits of embracing additive manufacturing being realised by manufacturers include: increased production, reduced overall cost of production, improved accuracy, flexibility of production, reduced production cycle time, and improved health & safety.

These advantages notwithstanding, there are still a number of concerns being expressed by manufacturers as reasons either to hold off implementing additive manufacturing, or even continuing with it.

As often with new investment, it would appear taking the first step is the hardest, with almost two-thirds (61%) of respondents to the Annual Manufacturing Report 2017 citing initial development costs as the key barrier.

Nearly a third (31%) felt the return was not currently worth the expenditure, given the length of anticipated payback period. A similar number felt their product was too complex and therefore inappropriate to the technology, while a further 31% worried about the product performance in service and about product liability (15%).

On a more positive note, 39% of manufacturers are expecting to spend more on additive manufacturing in the coming year than compared to the previous 12 months, and 31% the same. Only 15% said less, and 15% didn’t know at that time.

You can download the full Annual Manufacturing Report 2017 here.

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