Purpose - In the world economy there is the emergence of advanced manufacturing technologies that are enabling more cost and resource-efficient small-scale production. Among them, additive manufacturing, commonly known as 3D printing, is leading companies to rethink where and how they conduct their manufacturing activities. The purpose of this paper is to focus in the Italian wood-furniture industry to understand if the companies in this sector are investing in additive manufacturing techniques, to remain competitive in their reference markets. The research also attempts to investigate the potential sustainable benefits and limitations to the implementation of 3D printing in this specific sector, considering the companies that have already implemented this technology. Design/methodology/approach - Data were collected using a structured questionnaire survey performed on a sample of 234 Italian companies in this sector; 76 companies claimed to use 3D printing in their production system. The questionnaire was distributed via computer-assisted web interviewing and it consisted of four sections. Findings - The research has highlighted how Italian 3D companies have a specific profile; they are companies aimed at innovating through the search for new products and product features, putting design and Made in Italy in the first place. They pay high attention to the image they communicate to the market and are highly oriented to the final customer, and to the satisfaction of its needs. Originality/value - The study is attempting to expand a recent and unexplored research line on the possible advantages and disadvantages of the implementation of emerging production technologies such as 3D printing.

Additive Manufacturing in the wood-furniture sector: sustainability of the technology, benefits and limitations of adoption

Murmura Federica
;
Bravi Laura
2018-01-01

Abstract

Purpose - In the world economy there is the emergence of advanced manufacturing technologies that are enabling more cost and resource-efficient small-scale production. Among them, additive manufacturing, commonly known as 3D printing, is leading companies to rethink where and how they conduct their manufacturing activities. The purpose of this paper is to focus in the Italian wood-furniture industry to understand if the companies in this sector are investing in additive manufacturing techniques, to remain competitive in their reference markets. The research also attempts to investigate the potential sustainable benefits and limitations to the implementation of 3D printing in this specific sector, considering the companies that have already implemented this technology. Design/methodology/approach - Data were collected using a structured questionnaire survey performed on a sample of 234 Italian companies in this sector; 76 companies claimed to use 3D printing in their production system. The questionnaire was distributed via computer-assisted web interviewing and it consisted of four sections. Findings - The research has highlighted how Italian 3D companies have a specific profile; they are companies aimed at innovating through the search for new products and product features, putting design and Made in Italy in the first place. They pay high attention to the image they communicate to the market and are highly oriented to the final customer, and to the satisfaction of its needs. Originality/value - The study is attempting to expand a recent and unexplored research line on the possible advantages and disadvantages of the implementation of emerging production technologies such as 3D printing.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2655228
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