Supply chain disruptions and resilience in manufacturing industry during covid-19: Additive manufacturing intervention in perspective

Thywill Dzogbwu, Sampson Afrifa Jnr, Nathaniel Amoah, Samuel Koranteng Fianko, Adam Imdaadulah, Deon De Beer


Purpose: This paper examined supply chain disruptions in the manufacturing industry in South Africa and how additive manufacturing technology was used to help deal with disruptions encountered.

Design/methodology/approach: The study adopted a qualitative research approach in order to meet the objectives of the study. A total of ten (10) managers of conventional manufacturing firms and ten (10) managers of 3D printing firms in Free State, South Africa participated in the study through the use of a purposive sampling technique. Interview guides were used in the collection of data. Data transcriptions and thematic analysis were used to analyze data gathered from the interviews.

Findings: The results of the study showed that 3D printing contributed positively in dealing with manufacturing disruptions that were encountered by manufacturing firms in Free State, South Africa through the production of components and spare parts that were broken down in manufacturing machinery/plants. From the study, the researchers recommend that 3D printing technology should be adopted by manufacturing firms because of its practicality in providing manufacturing support and production continuity even in supply chain disruptive experiences caused by pandemics such as Covid-19.  

Originality/value: The study proves that due to the versatility of the 3D printing technology it could be used to minimize the effect of supply chain disruption during cries such as the Covid-19 pandemic. One of the unique contributions of the current study is the realization that additive manufacturing was not of much relevance to the generic supply chain challenges encountered in supply chain activiteis, but rather very relevant in helping to prevent disruptions of the manufacturing process by improvising spare parts at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic.  


Supply chain, Covid-19, disruption, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, resilience

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Licencia de Creative Commons 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Journal of Industrial Engineering and Management, 2008-2024

Online ISSN: 2013-0953; Print ISSN: 2013-8423; Online DL: B-28744-2008

Publisher: OmniaScience