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Mass Customization: Opportunities, Methods, and Challenges for Manufacturers


Mass Customization examines the business opportunities, considerations, and challenges manufacturers in various industries must weigh before committing to the significant investment in machinery and software needed to go to mass customization. For manufacturers who decide that it’s time to take the plunge, the author describes the proven methods and latest technologies for making mass customization work seamlessly and profitably on the factory floor.

Mass customization—the automated manufacturing bespoke products, profitably combining the low unit costs of mass production with the flexibility of building custom products to order—has been touted as the next big thing for more than a quarter of a century. Until recently, however, mass customization made only modest inroads in a few industries. Now, the convergence of new ICT and manufacturing technologies with traditional CNC technologies means that mass customization’s moment has arrived for breaking out into a wide range of industries.

Hans Kull is an engineer and mathematician who applies his expertise in combinatorial optimization, programming, and engineering to devising end-to-end automated solutions for mass customization, automating and optimizing all processes—from bespoke parts supply, order processing, production, and waste minimization to packing and delivery. He shares with his readers practical lessons for making mass customization succeed, case studies from various industries, and an insider’s vision of the business implications of mass customization’s coming of age.

What you’ll learn

From this short but richly informative book, manufacturing and supply chain executives and managers will learn the relevance to mass customization of such topics as the following:

  • ICT technologies such as cloud computing and 3D modeling, scanning, and printing that facilitate design specification and customer interaction
  • Interface devices transforming the factory floor, such as gesture recognition, Brainwriter, and Google Glass
  • Manufacturing technologies such as IoT, AM, advanced robotics, assistive automation, advanced composite materials, and nanotechnology
  • Software integration in the cloud of sophisticated algorithms for automatic quoting and supply chain management
  • Agile teams and practices for optimizing mass customization system performance

Who this book is for

The primary readership for Mass Customization: Opportunities, Methods, and Challenges for Manufacturers is the executives, managers, and board members of manufacturing companies who are considering whether and how to undertake mass customization projects. The secondary readership is supply chain managers and executives.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Intelligent Manufacturing Technologies
  • Problems in Smart Factory Projects
  • Future Challenges
  • New ICT Technologies
  • Alternative Factory Floor Interface Devices
  • New Manufacturing Technologies
  • Software Integration
  • Going Cloud
  • Designing and Communicating the Vision
  • Commissioning
  • Implementation Process
  • References
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