Feasibility Study of Small Scale Production Based on Additive Manufacturing Technologies
Along the last years, the complexity of products has been growing progressively, while the product development life-cycle tended to be reduced. In addition to that, additive manufacturing technologies increased their role in the product development process, resulting in reduction of errors and products release time. In spite of these benefits, the main application of these technologies is still focused on initial phases of projects and results in high costs of parts and low volumes. On the other hand, although conventional productivity processes results in low costs and high volumes, the investment related to these processes are high and the implementation time are long. For that reason, the main goal of this work is to investigate the possibility of application of additive manufacturing technologies for small and medium scale production. Along this work, the main direct and indirect processes which are used for small and medium scale production were studied and a numerical cost model were developed for each one. In order to compare the benefits and disadvantages among the processes, 3 parts were selected and analysed through such models. By the end, the main cost, payback; amortization and takt time were identified and the most suitable process was found in accordance with annual part demand.