Potential Cost Savings for Use of 3D Printing Combined With 3D Imaging and CPLM for Fleet Maintenance and Revitalization

Report Number: NPS-LM-13-126

Series: Logistics Management

Category: 3D Printing

Report Series: Sponsored Report

Authors: David N. Ford, Tom Housel

Title: Potential Cost Savings for Use of 3D Printing Combined With 3D Imaging and CPLM for Fleet Maintenance and Revitalization

Published: 2013-12-01

Sponsored By: Acquisition Research Program

Status: Published--Unlimited Distribution

Research Type: NPS Faculty

Full Text URL: http://acquisitionresearch.net/files/FY2013/NPS-LM-13-126.pdf

Keywords: Technology adoption, ship maintenance, additive manufacturing, laser scanning technology, collaborative product lifecycle management

Abstract:

Initiatives to reduce the cost of ship maintenance have not yet realized the normal cost-reduction learning curve improvements. One explanation is the lack of some of the technologies recommended by the developers of SHIPMAIN, an initiative designed to improve ship maintenance performance within the Navy by standardizing processes in order to take advantage of learning curve cost savings and other technologies. Two such recommended technologies are collaborative product lifecycle management (CPLM) and three-dimensional laser scanning technology (3DLST). One quickly emerging new technology is additive manufacturing (AM). The research team collected data on AM use by U.S. Navy in maintenance operations and extrapolated them to build two types of computer simulation models of ship maintenance and technology adoption. The models were used to investigate the impacts of 3DLST and scaling up AM use on potential cost savings. The results were analyzed and compared with previously developed modeling results of the use of AM in U.S. Navy ship maintenance. Results support the adoption of AM in ship maintenance. 3DLST increases savings slightly over the use of AM alone or with CPLM. Cost savings when AM and other technologies are used only to make prototypes are significant but limited. In contrast, savings are significantly larger if AM use is expanded to include the manufacturing of final parts. The primary implication for acquisition practice is the importance of scaling up the use of AM and other new technologies to capture potential savings.