Title: Distributed manufacturing network models of smart and agile mini-factories

Authors: Erwin Rauch; Patrick Dallasega; Dominik T. Matt

Addresses: Faculty of Science and Technology, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Universitätsplatz 5, 39100 Bolzano, Italy ' Faculty of Science and Technology, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Universitätsplatz 5, 39100 Bolzano, Italy ' Faculty of Science and Technology, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Universitätsplatz 5, 39100 Bolzano, Italy; Fraunhofer Italia Research s.c.a.r.l. Innovation Engineering Center (IEC), 39100 Bolzano, Italy

Abstract: Traditional centralised manufacturing systems will be replaced in future more and more through decentralised and geographically dispersed manufacturing strategies. So-called distributed manufacturing systems represent an ideal approach to meet challenges regarding individualisation of products, customer proximity or more sustainable production. Networks of smart and agile micro-production units lead to a rationalisation of the supply chain and therefore to an increase of sustainability. In this paper, the actual state of the art in distributed manufacturing is presented. Afterwards, sustainability oriented reasons for a trend towards distributed manufacturing networks are explained. Then, evolutionary stages in the development of factories are represented describing their characteristics at every stage. Finally, a framework of possible network models for distributed manufacturing networks of smart and agile mini-factories is provided and enforced by examples from industrial practice. The paper closes with a discussion of the proposed framework and an outlook on future needs in research.

Keywords: sustainability; distributed manufacturing; local manufacturing; agile manufacturing; production networks; industry 4.0; manufacturing systems; mini-factories; cloud manufacturing; sustainable manufacturing; smart manufacturing.

DOI: 10.1504/IJASM.2017.088534

International Journal of Agile Systems and Management, 2017 Vol.10 No.3/4, pp.185 - 205

Received: 12 Dec 2016
Accepted: 20 Jul 2017

Published online: 01 Dec 2017 *

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