The perceived value of additively manufactured digital spare parts in industry: An empirical investigation

Sergei Chekurov, Sini Metsä-Kortelainen, Mika Salmi, Irene Roda, Ari Jussila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

97 Citations (Scopus)
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The purpose of this paper is to verify the conceptual benefits of the implementation of additive manufacturing (AM) in spare part supply chains from the point of view of industry. Focus group interviews consisting of five sessions and 46 experts in manufacturing were conducted for this study. The focus group interviews served to identify the issues in the adoption of digital spare parts (DSP) and to expand on the available literature. The benefits found in the reviewed literature were partially verified by the participants but certain limitations, such as the excessive need of post processing, supplier quality parity, and ICT inadequacies, were presented that were absent or not highlighted in literature. The information gathered from the participants made it possible to create a realistic model of a digital spare part distribution network. According to the focus group interviews, digital spare parts could be deployed immediately for a specific type of product in the long tails of company spare part catalogues. However, improvements in AM, company ICT infrastructure, and 3D model file formats need to be achieved for a larger deployment of DSP.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-94
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Production Economics
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • 3D printing
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Digital manufacturing
  • Distributed manufacturing
  • Spare parts
  • Supply network management


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