Digital Warehouse: Defence Supply Chain of the Future?

The Royal Netherlands Army is in the process of rolling out an additive manufacturing roadmap and embedding AM in day-to-day operations. Together with DiManEx, parts have been selected for 3D printing and the first steps are being taken towards digital warehousing. The real change, however, lies in the way of thinking, the cultural shift.

“From a logistic point of view our vision is that operational units are as self-supporting as possible when they go on a mission. Maybe they print the parts themselves, maybe they use local 3D printing companies or we set up 3D hubs for NATO-member states,” says Major Stephan Wildenberg. He is Staff Officer Land Maintenance Initiative at the Matlogco of the Royal Netherlands Army. On 27 October, he will speak with Tibor van Melsem Kocsis, CEO and founder of DiManEx, at the Virtual AM for Defense Conference about how the Dutch Army is working with DiManEx on the transition from physical stocks to digital warehouses. Major Stephan Wildenberg and Tibor van Melsem will focus on the role of change management in the process and how defense can influence the supply chain in this transition.

Smart and robust logistics
Stephan Wildenberg has been working on innovation projects within the material logistics command (Matlogco) of the Royal Netherlands Army for several years. From the Smart and Robust Logistics study, the logistics units must support the operational and supporting Army units in a smarter and more innovative way. Additive manufacturing is one of the innovations under consideration. “Internally, polymer printers were already being experimented with, but it got not much beyond the ‘play area’,” says Major Stephan Wildenberg. Together with TNO, a plan has been written to take additive manufacturing to a higher level and business cases have been drawn up. Ultimately, the strategic plan was worked out into a roadmap AM. “We want to carry on and incorporate it into existing business operations.

They will be speaking at the conference.

Read the complete article in the 3D Print Magazine.

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