Additive Manufacturing Decision Support System Wins NATO Award

The Cloud-Based Software Platform, Which Mathematically Describes Supply Chains and Calculates the Time and Cost Savings If Additive Manufacturing Is Used in Place of Traditional Methods, Was Developed by a BCG Consultant

BOSTON—A winner of the 2018 NATO Communications and Information’s Defence Innovation Challenge is the Additive Manufacturing Decision Support System (AM-DSS), initially developed by Alessandro Busachi, a consultant in the Milan office of The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), as part of his PhD in collaboration with academic and industry partners. Busachi has continued his work on AM-DSS in collaboration with his BCG colleagues Clemens Moeller, a partner and managing director in BCG’s Boston office; Jacopo Brunelli, a partner and managing director in BCG’s Milan office; and Wilderich Heising, a principal in BCG’s Frankfurt office. The Defence Innovation Challenge is intended to accelerate technology solutions from enterprises and academia; its focus this year was digital innovation.

Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, promises to transform industries—including the defense industry—with its ability to create complex parts on site or in small volumes. The AM-DSS allows users to compare traditional military manufacturing, which occurs at a supplier’s facility, with an additive manufacturing approach, which can occur at a port, support vessel, or other site. This comparison makes it possible to calculate the time and cost savings that AM provides so that decision makers can choose the right AM vendor, technology, deployment location, and material.

“Additive manufacturing has the potential to disrupt the way we manufacture given its unique advantages on the design and the supply chain sides,” said Heising. “With the AM-DSS, we bring transparency into complex logistical chains and support decision making.”

“Right now, our AM-DSS prototype can perform seven different simulations. We have more work to do to develop it into a dynamic, mature, and fully functional tool that can support technology acquisitions in the defense industry,” said Busachi, who was presented with the award on May 24 at the 2018 NITEC conference in Berlin, along with Heising. “We are grateful for the recognition from NATO and the opportunities it provides, and we look forward to our next steps with the AM-DSS and its defense applications.”

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