Distributed manufacturing: Scope, challenges and opportunities

Srai, J. S., Kumar, M., Graham, G., Phillips, W., Tooze, J., Tiwari, A., Ford, S., Beecher, P., Raj, B., Gregory, M., Tiwari, M., Ravi, B., Neely, A. and Shankar, R. (2016) Distributed manufacturing: Scope, challenges and opportunities. International Journal of Production Research, 54 (23). pp. 6917-6935. ISSN 0020-7543 Available from: http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/28424

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00207543.2016.1192302


This discussion paper aims to set out the key challenges and opportunities emerging from distributed manufacturing (DM). We begin by describing the concept, available definitions and consider its evolution where recent production technology developments (such as additive and continuous production process technologies), digitisation together with infrastructural developments (in terms of IoT and big-data) provide new opportunities. To further explore the evolving nature of DM, the authors, each of whom are involved in specific applications of DM research, examined within a workshop environment emerging DM applications involving new production and supporting infrastructural technologies. This paper presents these generalizable findings on DM challenges and opportunities in terms of products, enabling production technologies, and the impact on the wider production and industrial system. Industry structure and location of activities are examined in terms of the democrat impact on participating network actors. The paper concludes with a discussion on the changing nature of manufacturing as a result of DM, from the traditional centralised, large scale, long lead-time forecast driven production operations, to a new DM paradigm where manufacturing is a decentralised, autonomous near end-user driven activity. A forward research agenda is proposed that considers the impact of DM on the industrial and urban landscape.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Production Research on 16 June 2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/00207543.2016.1192302
Uncontrolled Keywords:distributed manufacturing, emerging production technologies, ICT, digitalisation, localisation, personalisation, community-based production, urban environments, smart city production systems
Faculty/Department:Faculty of Business and Law > Department of Business Management
ID Code:28424
Deposited By: Dr W. Phillips
Deposited On:18 May 2016 15:07
Last Modified:20 Jun 2017 07:25

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