Mass Customization and Build to Order Production – In Manufacturing Networks Mass customization and globalization have radically changed the environment for manufacturers. A new context is emerging with intensified competition and accelerated technology development. In this environment evolution is not an option, but a necessity for survival. This leads to the question “what can manufacturing enterprises do to turn the development into their own advantage?” As competition intensifies customer are increasingly demanding sophisticated and adapted solutions. Conventional manufacturer are challenged. Maintaining leading edge competencies within product development, sales and manufacturing simultaneous is difficult for SME’s with sparse means. The evolution sets new standards for the manufacturer and the people employed with the company. Competitive advantages shall not necessarily be found in the manufacturing as information processing is accountable for an increasing portion of the value creation. In order to improve the information processing some manufacturers have applied product models, thereby giving the customer access to the manufactures knowledge base. This project will introduce solution elements, which can support an improved utilization of product models in relation to new and existing manufacturing systems. The scientific novelty of this project is the exposure of the potential that lies in an improved application and integration of information technology in the supply chain and the manufacturing within the framework of “build to order” production. The main objective of this project is to develop understanding and support tools for the improvement of the information processing in the “build to order” manufacturers through the application of product models. A holistic approach is applied to the specification task thereby enabling the coordination of orders through the supply chain. Furthermore the strategic importance of a well structured supply chain is discussed and the potential value of the application of product models in the supply chain is emphasised. In this project the interface between product models and the manufacturing system will be illuminated and the possibilities for a coherent specification system will be examined through literature studies combined with empirical studies at Nilpeter and other medium sized enterprises.
Mass Customization; Product models; Manufacturing Networks