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Make to Demand with 3-D Printing: The Next Big Thing in Inventory Management? by Chuck Munson

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Make to Demand with 3-D Printing: The Next Big Thing in Inventory Management?

Tom McNamara and Erika Marsillac

ESC-Rennes, Rennes, France; tom.mcnamara@esc-rennes.fr

Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, USA; emarsill@odu.edu

Imagine that you are the manager of a high-volume continuous process factory. Suddenly, your production line goes down because a machine fails. A technician tells you that the problem is a critical small part that needs to be replaced. You used to keep plenty of these parts on hand for just such an emergency. But since your company instituted a “lean” inventory policy in order to reduce the amount of material you keep on hand, you no longer have any spares. Ordering a replacement part will take several weeks, ...

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