Just as the sharing economy has successfully created new markets for accommodations, taxi services and logistics, technology is set to do the same sort of thing for companies that need to find the best place to manufacture a product to their exact specifications and scheduling requirements. With this in mind, researchers Simon Mayer, Dominic Plangger, and Florian Michahelles of Siemens Corporate Technology in Berkeley, Califorinia, and Simon Rothfuss of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Karlsruhe, Germany have developed a technology that triggers an automated bidding process by facilities that have the right machines to fill an order on time. The technology allows suppliers’ systems to “automatically derive production plans and use them to make offers to the customer in real time,” say the researchers.
The Future of Manufacturing – Inside Siemens’ Labs
Calling all Manufacturing Cells
The sharing economy could soon be coming to factory ordering processes. Siemens researchers have developed a technology that allows suppliers’ systems to automatically derive production plans for an order and use them to make offers to a customer.
Known as “Click2Make,” the new technology supports production-as-a-service, which is becoming an increasingly important competitive factor as consumers demand ever higher levels of personalization. At the heart of the technology are embedded semantic descriptions of the available resources (machine and human) of each responding production cell. “Using these descriptions and given the specifications of the product to be manufactured,” explain the researchers, “our system is able to derive a collaborative plan that composes available resources to achieve a specific manufacturing goal.”
The researchers see mass customization as a potentially revolutionary development. “Instead of today’s high-volume production lines,” they say, “this development opens the door to allowing individual manufacturing cells to offer their capabilities as a service and compete with other cells in a new paradigm.”