Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - 11

ROBERT T. O'BRIEN AND MARK COTTELEER | COLUMN BY

The Last Mile: Bringing
Manufacturing Closer to the
Ultimate Consumer

11

O P E R AT I O N S

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 manufacturing-today.com

L EADERSHIP

T H E B AT T E RY S H OW

P RO F I TA B I L I T Y

L AST PAGE

C OVER STORY

Although still in the early stages, additive manufacturing
- otherwise known as 3-D printing - is set to make an enormous impact across the manufacturing sector. From the
printing of products to the construction of facilities, we are
beginning to see how this innovative technology will transform the sector and the industries it supports. While much
has been said about how 3-D printing will transform the
production of goods, manufacturers must also start thinking about what impact this technology will have for manufacturing facilities themselves - both in terms of location,
and how they are designed and maintained.

M ANAGEMENT

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

S U P P LY C H A I N

what 3-D printing means for
facility location strategies

E MPLOYEES

D IALOGUE

C ONTENTS

T ECHNOLOGY

N EWS

A ERODEF MANUFACTURING 2017

AH
S R EXPO 2017

M A N U FA C T U R I N G

C ANADA MANUFACTURING

L E A N

F ABTECH

SERVICE

SPACE TECH EXPO

Major Impact

Humans today have a growing desire for personalization, with consumption patterns tilting towards
more customized and on-demand
goods and services. As we note in
our 2017 real estate outlook, we
believe 3-D printing technologies
are likely to enable these customization requirements, transforming
the final stages of product delivery
- what we call the "last mile" - and
bringing the manufacturer closer
to the ultimate consumer. Already,
we're starting to see this take place
in the retail environment, with
some retailers employing onsite
3-D printing technologies to print
customized products such as jeans
and jewelry based on a customer's
unique shape and style preferences.
Alongside the growth of 3-D printing technologies, manufacturers must
start thinking about what this shift
to on-demand production means for
their location strategies. We believe
3-D printing offers manufacturers a
unique opportunity to re-evaluate demand centers and consider the need
to bring production closer to - and
even into the heart of - large population centers.
Ultimately, 3-D printing could bring
manufacturing closer to the consumer in a couple of ways.
As in the above example, shifting
consumer preferences for customized
and on-demand services may spark an
opportunity for original equipment
manufacturers (OEMs) to locate facilities closer to demand centers, or
even within the retail environment
itself. Consumer products such as
tools and replacement parts would
be an obvious fit for this strategy, and
we expect that big box retailers that


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017

Table Of Contents
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - Cover1
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - Cover2
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - 1
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - Table Of Contents
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - 3
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - 4
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - 5
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Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - 7
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Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - 63
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - 64
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - 65
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - 66
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - 67
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - 68
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Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - 71
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - 72
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - 73
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Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - 100
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - 101
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - 102
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - 103
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - 104
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - 105
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Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - Cover3
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2017 - Cover4
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