The rise of additive manufacturing (3D printing) in key application areas – A manufacturing revolution in the making
Additive manufacturing increasingly impacts all facets of manufacturing while at the same time plays the dual role of a supporter at present and a disruptor in the future.
In Search of Growth in the Chemical Industry and the Role of Additive Manufacturing
In recent history (15 years), chemical returns outperformed both suppliers and customers, all of them above world average. Asia (excluding Japan) powered growth, with China growing from about 10% to 40% of total chemical market share in 10 years. Most of the best performers have been focused specialty chemicals companies pursuing a portfolio rationalisation, largely through mergers and acquisitions (M&A). This, in turn, has increased profitability by consolidating several specialty segments. In fact M&A activity has now become a key component of growth for chemical companies.
However, over the last three years returns to chemical industry investors have slipped behind those of many other industry sectors. Not only has Asia slowed down, but for instance the build up of Chinese capacity is now hurting profitability in Europe and the USA. Boosting research and development (R&D) spend per se – historically the prime mechanism for differentiation – is unlikely to restore advantage across the board. So could Additive Manufacturing drive cha ...