Donal Reddington on mass customization, crowdsourcing and digital manufacturing


Journal of Manufacturing Technology – MC issue

The latest edition of academic publication ‘International Journal of Manufacturing Technology’ is a special issue on e-Manufacturing and Mass Customization. The issue is guest-edited by Dr. Pingyu Jiang, of the State Key Laboratory for Manufacturing Systems Engineering, part of the School of Mechanical Engineering at Xi’an Jiaotong University in China.

In his editorial, Dr. Jiang states that

“The aim of organising this Special Issue is to provide a forum for researchers to report current achievements and identify possible directions for further developments and industrial practices in the areas of e-manufacturing and mass customisation.”

Dr. Jiang also outlines the content of the published papers. “An evaluation method for the identification of flexible production technologies for mass customisation in the automotive industry”, by Guenther Schuh et al. provides a report on how to use the principle of mass customisation to the automotive industries. An evaluation method for the identification of feasible production technologies is discussed in detail, which includes defining a customer-oriented product programme, using conjoint-analysis to classify the customer requirements, selecting suitable product structure, and describing database constructioncriteria and finally choosing flexible production technologies related to implementing the logic of mass customisation.

“Design optimisation for customers’ KANSEI requirement: application of Interactive Reduct Evolutional Computation (IREC) to industrial design with curves” by Hideyoshi Yanagisawa and Shuichi Fukuda describes a design methodology for evolving on user’s psychological preferences be means of using IREC. Dr. Jiang notes that

“Kansei engineering has been used to map customers’ emotion information into product structure and shape details. It is also clear that Kansei engineering is a powerful tool to make the mass customisation become true from the angle of customers’ requirement representation.”

“Some key issues on enabling e-manufacturing as a part of product-driven e-business process via e-service”, by Pingyu Jiang and Bing Chen, presents an e-service-driven e-manufacturing solution. The e-formalisation of digitalised machining equipments and
the tree representation of extended enterprise, are discussed in detail. On the basis of these models, the configuring mechanism of product-driven extended enterprise and the correspondent global tracking method of manufacturing data are also put forward.

In “Knowledge web based system to support e-manufacturing of injection moulded products” by Karina Rodriguez and Ahmed Al-Ashaab, the research on developing a digitalised representation model of product life cycle knowledge is presented so as to support the e-manufacturing of injection moulding products.

The next article is “Custom-made production of porous ceramics implants towards e-manufacturing” by Teruaki Ito and Teisuke Sato. In this article a virtual design model for bone formation is put forward, which deals with designing custom-made shapes on hard-tissue implants (design issue) and using porous ceramics for hard-tissue implants (material issue). A framework towards e-manufacturing of custom-made ceramics implants is also proposed.

The final article is “Developing an e-service-based CAPP system for silicon surface micro-manufacturing”, Pingyu Jiang and Xuesong Qi just put forward a methodology to develop the micro-manufacturing process planning system on the web.

I have not yet read any of the articles, and so cannot comment on any of them individually. I recently wrote a post about the failure of U.S. auto manufacturers to implement build-to-order, so the item on mass customization in the automotive industry looks like it would be of particular interest to me at the moment. Articles are are STG£20 each to purchase online.

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