Home Industry Sustainable manufacturing of the future: the role of additive manufacturing

Sustainable manufacturing of the future: the role of additive manufacturing

Danish AM Hub’s mission is to promote the use of additive manufacturing, with a focus on sustainable manufacturing. Now the organization has produced a report that summarizes experiences in promoting AM technology for more sustainable manufacturing in four interlinked steps, covering specific cases from Denmark and a neighboring region.

Key takeaways for each of the four steps are summarised below.

Go Digital

Manufacture products only when it is necessary. Digitalise your warehouse and produce on demand with minimum use of energy and materials. This will reduce your need for warehouse space and your dependency on global supply chains. AM has a significant role in the ongoing shift from centralised to decentralised supply chains, allowing the possibility to print locally and on demand.

Mind the Materials

Use recycled materials whenever possible. Develop a take-back system for your product, which ensures that products are reused or recycled. This will minimise the use of resources and reduce your carbon footprint. With AM technology, it is possible to reduce the use of materials and use recycled waste and recycled filament in production.

Rethink Design

Rethinking design entails abandoning the linear take-make-waste system. Many products could be circulated by being maintained, shared, reused, repaired, refurbished, remanufactured, and, as a last resort, recycled. AM technology has potential, especially for resource efficiency and reduction of materials use, e.g., through topology optimisation and designing for repair and restoration.

Own your Value Chain

Adopt a holistic perspective that incorporates the whole value chain and life cycle of your products. Document your carbon footprint, also taking into consideration your suppliers. Danish AM Hub has started to provide documentation for the environmental impact of AM through Life cycle analyses (LCAs).

“Danish AM Hub is on a mission to promote the use of Additive Manufacturing, focusing on the abilities of the technology to contribute to more sustainable manufacturing. This report gathers our experiences in promoting AM technology for more sustainable manufacturing presented in four interlinked steps elaborating on concrete cases from Denmark and a neighbouring region.

Additive Manufacturing allows for CO2 reduction, material saving, tailored products, and local production closer to the customer. It is an opportunity for companies to take responsibility by showing how to develop, design and manufacture in a way that ensures a more sustainable production,” adds Frank Rosengreen Lorenzen, CEO Danish AM Hub.

Find out more about Danish AM Hub at am-hub.dk.

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