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Call for Papers for Special Issue of IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management on Mass Customization Manufacturing Systems

A special issue of the IEEE publication, 'Transactions on Engineering Management', has been announced. The issue will be on Engineering Management on Mass Customization Manufacturing Systems. The full name of the IEEE is The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, but the IEEE name is more commonly used. A call for papers has recently been issued for this special issue, which is edited by Thorsten Blecker and Gerhard Friedrich. The full text of the call for papers is shown below.


Special Issue of IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management on Mass Customization Manufacturing Systems

edited by Thorsten Blecker and Gerhard Friedrich

Deadline for submission: October 31, 2004

Customization is fundamentally not a new feature in industrial markets. However, mass customization, as an emerging business strategy, aims at associating both the advantages resulting from the satisfaction of individual customers' needs and the benefits of mass production efficiency. Mass customization has been made possible owing to the advancements achieved in the fields of manufacturing systems and modular product architectures. The main challenge that mass customization has to face, concerns the design of manufacturing systems that are capable of producing customized goods for high volume markets with respect to cost efficiencies, as well as quality and time considerations.

Mass customization induces a considerable proliferation of product variety. Moreover, customers are more demanding and their requirements regarding tailor-made solutions are changing rapidly. This significantly influences manufacturing and involves high operations' complexity. Thus, the development of mass customization manufacturing systems is much more challenging than a mere optimization of existing manufacturing systems. It is not satisfactory to simply adjust a mass production manufacturing system to lower volume and higher variety. Instead, major changes are necessary, eventually leading to a radical reconfiguration and redesign process within manufacturing. Furthermore, a main concern has to be assigned in order to learn of how to optimally plan and control the production processes in a variant-rich environment. In addition, product life cycles are becoming increasingly shorter. That is why the reconfigurability of a manufacturing system that means stepwise expandability and the possibility to adapt to different product variants, as well as dynamic plant layouts gains more in importance. However, the performance of manufacturing systems for mass customization depends not only on the configuration of the manufacturing system itself, but also on manufacturing related tasks, such as product family design, supply chain management, information system integration, etc. These have to be also addressed in order to fulfill all of the requirements of efficient and effective mass customization manufacturing systems.

A number of failed projects of providing customized products have initiated a discussion about the practicability and suitability of existing approaches and theories dealing with mass customization manufacturing systems. This special issue of IEEE-TEM is intended to discuss the state of the art, as well as actual research results in mass customization manufacturing systems. Practitioners and academic researchers are invited to submit papers presenting their findings and results. Furthermore, due to the complex and interdisciplinary disposition of the topics, we expect contributions from management, economics, industrial engineering and information technology.

Topics of interests include, but are not limited to:

. Mass Customization Product Design and Configuration
. Product Family Management
. Optimization and Management of Modular Product Architectures
. Flexible Manufacturing Systems
. Plant Layout and Factory Planning
. Process Planning and Scheduling
. Manufacturing Systems Engineering for Variant Rich Processes
. Mass Customization and Supply Chain Management
. Definition of the Degree of Coupling/Decoupling
. Technology Strategies and Management for Mass Customization Manufacturing Systems
. Custom Order Control in Mass Customization Manufacturing Systems
. Information System Infrastructure and Integration
. Multi Agent Systems for Variety Formation and Production Planning and Control
. Adaptive Manufacturing Control in Mass Customization
. Self-organized Order Management and Production
. Complexity of Mass Customizing Systems
. Key Performance Indicators for Variety Management
. Impacts on Intrafirm and Interfirm processes

Papers submitted to this special issue will be reviewed in accordance with the IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management editorial policy ( Papers must be submitted via the IEEE electronic submission website ( Authors should indicate in the cover letter that the paper is being submitted to the special issue on Mass Customization Manufacturing Systems. Abstracts to ensure appropriateness to the special issue may be submitted in advance of the deadline by email (see

Dr. Thorsten Blecker
University of Klagenfurt
College of Business Administration
Department of Production/Operations Management,
Business Logistics and Environmental Management
Universitaetsstr. 65 - 67
A-9020 Klagenfurt, Austria

Dr. Gerhard Friedrich
University of Klagenfurt
College of Informatics
Department for Computer Science and Manufacturing
Universitaetsstr. 65 - 67
A-9020 Klagenfurt, Austria

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