Mass production no longer seems suitable for today’s market and is being replaced by mass customisation. The need to satisfy an individual customer’s requirements is now stronger than ever. Customers require that the product they buy fulfils their personal requirements in an individualised way.
The e-CUSTOM project aims to overcome the challenges faced by European manufacturers by developing innovative approaches, making possible to prepare unique product designs, manufacture these products and communicate them on a mass basis. The innovative approach of e-CUSTOM supports the higher alignment of production with customer demand, while shortening design time for personalised products by up to 15%.
The e-CUSTOM consortium contains partners from industry, research institutes and universities, with expertise in the execution of RTD projects and a strong commitment to cooperate and deliver European manufacturing companies with the best possible project results.
The partners will attain a set of scientific and technical objectives, classified in accordance to the four Pylons of the project:
• Pylon I: User Adaptive Design System (UADS). Objectives focus on the development of user friendly design tools to allow customers to perform unique design changes on their order in a controlled way.
• Pylon II: Decentralised Manufacturing Framework (DEMAP). Technological objectives are based on the decentralised production concept that e-CUSTOM promotes. Following the design of highly customised products from Pylon I, the required supply and manufacturing schemes for production will be generated and verified by the developments of Pylon II.
• Pylon III: Environmental Assessment Module. The environmental impact of the schemes generated in Pylon II are critical. e-CUSTOM will develop the required tools and metrics for the evaluation of the alternative schemes. These tools will be supplemented by advanced Knowledge Management techniques so that the generated knowledge can be systematically re-used in future projects.
• Pylon IV: Network Infrastructure and Integration. Pylon IV focuses on creating the required infrastructures in terms of networks and ICTs for the standardisation of data exchange, synchronous and asynchronous cooperation and communication among individuals and user groups, efficient administration of personalised data files, automated generation of supplying schemes and evaluation of alternative ones.
These innovations are estimated to reduce energy consumption by approximately 5%-10%, transportation costs by up to 20%, the cost of raw materials by roughly 5%-10% , time-to-market by up to 15% and delivery time by approximately 15%-20%, thus resulting in an increase of market share by up to 10%.