Title: Designing modular manufacturing systems using mass customisation theories and methods

Authors: Steffen Nordahl Joergensen; Mads Hvilshøj; Ole Madsen

Addresses: Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Aalborg University, Fibigerstraede 16, DK-9220 Aalborg East, Denmark. ' Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Aalborg University, Fibigerstraede 16, DK-9220 Aalborg East, Denmark. ' Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Aalborg University, Fibigerstraede 16, DK-9220 Aalborg East, Denmark

Abstract: Today, manufacturing systems are developed as engineered to order (ETO) solutions tailored to produce a specific product or a limited product mix. However, such dedicated systems are not consistent with the current market demands for rapid product changes, high product variety, and customisation. In response, modular manufacturing systems (MMS) are evolving, which are aimed to possess the required responsiveness and to be the manufacturing paradigm of mass customisation (MC). Hereby, MMS brings the development process of manufacturing systems against configured to order (CTO). Up to now, research in MMS has primarily focused on potential benefits, basic principles, and enabling technologies, while the approaches of actually designing and creating modular architectures have received less attention. A potential to fill these gaps by applying MC theories and methods is identified based on the commonalities in the basic modular approaches of MC and MMS. This paper analyses this potential and evaluates it through three conducted cases within the domain of industrial automation and robotics. Based on the results, the paper discusses the prospective to form an MMS design framework by utilising selected MC theories and methods.

Keywords: modular manufacturing systems; MMS; mass customisation; modularisation; modular product architectures; product family modelling; PFM; changeable manufacturing systems; manufacturing system design; industrial automation; robotics.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMASSC.2012.047396

International Journal of Mass Customisation, 2012 Vol.4 No.3/4, pp.171 - 194

Available online: 18 Jun 2012 *

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