Cardiff Business School News

Journal highlights work on ‘lean’ supply chains

A partnership between Cardiff Business School and global logistics company Panalpina has been showcased in a major practitioner management journal.

The partners are exploring whether new technologies and manufacturing strategies such as 3D printing (3DP) and distributed manufacturing will herald a new era of truly lean supply chains where personalised products are made on demand and manufactured close to customer demand.

3D printing has applications across fields including medicine, aerospace, and fashion. It has the power to revolutionise supply chains, shifting production from large factories in Asia to mini factories that can move with demand.

Cardiff’s work is highlighted in the latest issue of Lean Management Journal, which explores how Panalpina and the Business School are looking at ways of using 3D printing to radically change supply chains from a linear to a more fragmented, distributed and leaner model.

Professor Aris Syntetos, Panalpina Chaired Professor of Manufacturing and Logistics at Cardiff Business School, said: “Last year, Panalpina invested in its first 3D printer to gain first-hand knowledge of how the technology can complement its Logistics Manufacturing Services (LMS). Panalpina’s facilities can be equipped with 3D printers to cater to its customers’ needs.

“By shifting the supply chain focus from looking for the cheapest manufacturing location, to looking for the best logistics and manufacturing set-up, Panalpina can create leaner supply chains with shorter lead times and smaller inventories.”

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