What two goals are reconciled by using mass customization in manufacturing?

Mass Customization (MC) is becoming a significant market trend, notably in the food industry. Mass customization can be applied to extrinsic characteristics like packaging and design but also to intrinsic elements such as recipes and ingredients. For example, mymuesli.com allows their customers to select their favorite ingredients to make their own muesli, while Nestlé has created a unique analysis system that consumers use to discover their “chocolate personality”, following which a box of Maison Cailler chocolates carefully selected according to their personal preferences is sent to them. From another industry, we can also cite Dell which pioneered custom-configured computers, where customers can choose their computer’s processor, memory, storage and other equipment. Why do many companies show interest for mass customization? Because it can be advantageous for them in different ways. Alcimed digs into four key benefits of mass customization to show you how it can improve the competitiveness of your company.

1. Differentiate yourself from your competitors

Mass customization requires three main actions from companies:
– Distinguishing the product attributes along which customer needs can vary (the aspects of the product that are customizable)
– Reusing or reorganizing existing production (adapting the production to customization)
– And helping customers recognize or create solutions to their own demands (leave some space for customer feedback to learn about their needs).
These actions allow companies to differentiate themselves from their competitors, in their internal organization as well as in their external image to the customers.

2. Capitalize on your economies of scale

Mass customization benefits companies by ensuring cost advantages obtained due to their scale of operation, with cost per unit of output decreasing with increasing scale. Companies can produce in mass while keeping costs low. Indeed, costs related to customization operations must be considered but can be optimized.

3. Ensure rapid delivery

Mass customization remains “superficial” as the vast majority of the production chain remains unchanged: only a few elements are really customizable. For example, Coca-Cola continues to mass produce its trademark glass bottles and will simply adapt its printer to print out the label with the customer’s personalized message, which is then stuck to the glass bottle. This will not significantly impact the time of delivery of the product to the customer.

4. Improve customer experience

Mass Customization allows for personalized products tailored to the customer’s taste. They can choose their favorite colors, designs, ingredients, etc. This can lead to a form of premiumization, meaning the upgrading of an existing product with add-ons, offering it in a “premium” or “luxury” version by the creation of specific packaging, conditioning, or limited series. This can have an effect on the brand image as a whole.


Mass Customization combines the best of both worlds: mass production which minimizes production costs, and customization to provide customers with a unique product. All these 4 benefits combined allow companies to “push” their competitors in the competitive landscape, as differentiation, economies of scale, ensured rapid delivery and improved customer experience and brand image can eventually lead to an expansion of market share. Competitors will have to adapt to Mass Customization. For example, almost all fast-food chains propose the customization of their burgers to let the customer be king. And you? How could your company position itself on the market with mass customization? Let’s explore this production strategy together!

The artifact being configured is assembled form instances of a fixed set of well-defined component types.


Components in the artifact interact with each other in predefined ways.

The advantage of configuration is obvious. Producing a specific design for each customer is not economical. Instead, producers use standardized sets of parts that can be configured into products satisfiying a wide range of requirements. Configurations must be correct, produced quickly, and must be optimal. The salesPLUS product-configuration tool effectively solves complex configuration problems, reducing costs while meeting customer expectations in real-world applications. The product has been successfully applied to many applications, such as the discrete manufacturing of pumps, robots, and vehicles; telecommunications; and high-tech services. More discussions can be found in Faltings and Freuder (1998).

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Personalized Learning in School Age Education

D. Hopkins, in International Encyclopedia of Education (Third Edition), 2010

Personalization is the guiding motif that allows a system to evolve from one based on delivery of services to one that emphasizes mass customization and co-production. It is about putting citizens at the heart of public services and enabling them to have a say in the design and improvement of the organizations that serve them. In education this can be understood as personalized learning – the drive to tailor schooling to individual need, interest, and aptitude. This emphasis provides a bridge from prescribed forms of teaching, learning skills, curriculum, and assessment to an approach to classroom practice that is predicated on enabling every student to fulfill their potential. In his pamphlet Learning about Personalisation: How Can We Put the Learner at the Heart of the Education System? Leadbeater (2004: 16) clearly and sensitively links the concept of personalization with personalized learning as the key driver for the transformation of schooling:

The script of a system characterised by personalised learning … would start from the premise that the learner should be actively engaged in setting their own targets, devising their own learning plans and goals, choosing from a range of different ways to learn.… By making learning the guiding principle of the system, personalisation challenges some of the current divide and boundaries that exist – for example between formal and informal learning; between academic and vocational learning and between different ages and types of learners. (Leadbeater, 2004:16)

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Globalization and Information Management Strategy

Jatinder N.D. Gupta, Sushil K. Sharma, in Encyclopedia of Information Systems, 2003

V. Conclusions

The 21st century will be focused toward globalization. Competition among organizations is already intensified due to the globalization process. Over the next few years, the variability and complexity of businesses will increase by a factor of at least 10. Organizations will face a shorter product life cycle for their products and services. Products and services will be customized for meeting personalized demands. Mass customization will be the main focus and not the mass production. Making customers and retaining customers will be a challenge and organizations will have to exploit technologies for building relationships with customers as well as with suppliers and other partners.

As we move into the 21st century, one of the key challenges that an organization faces is what kind of information management strategy will be appropriate to offer global products and services. On the one hand, organizations have to grapple with introducing state-of-the-art technologies for their businesses, while on the other hand, organizations face the challenge of aligning their technology based systems with a number of partners and collaborators. It is clear that organizations must develop skills for managing new technologies and products creating major shifts in their markets. The creation of knowledge and diffusion of knowledge across the organization's levels will be the prime activity to create a competitive advantage.

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Cui Fengru, Liu Guitang, in Global Value Chains and Production Networks, 2019

7.3.5 “Internet+Intelligent Manufacturing” Becoming the Prevailing Trend

After the 2008 global financial crisis, the diffusion of the new-generation information technology and its integration with industries has provoked the international community’s heated discussion about the Third Industrial Revolution, Energy Internet, Industrial Internet, Industry 4.0, and a series of other development ideas and models. The deep integration of the new-generation information technology with manufacturing is effecting industrial changes of far-reaching influence, leading to the creation of new modes of production, forms of business, new business models, and new sources of economic growth. Countries are boosting scientific and technological innovation to enable new breakthroughs in 3D printing, mobile Internet, cloud computing, big data, bioengineering, new energy, new materials, and other fields. CPS-based intelligent equipment and intelligent plants are leading the change of manufacturing approach. Crowdsourcing, collaborative design, mass customization, precision supply chain, full life cycle management, e-commerce, etc. are reshaping the industrial value chains. Wearable smart products, smart appliances, smart cars, and other smart devices keep expanding fields of manufacturing. It is foreseeable that with the deep integration of information technology and manufacturing, the combination of the Internet and intelligent manufacturing has broad prospects and unlimited potential. It is an irresistible trend that is producing strategic and overall impact on the economic and social development of all countries.

“Internet+intelligent manufacturing” means to integrate the innovation of the Internet with manufacturing; promote the application of such technologies as cloud computing, IoT intelligent industrial robots, and additive manufacturing in the production process; promote the intelligent upgrading of production equipment; process transformation and basic data sharing; and effectively support the intelligent transformation of the manufacturing industry, creating an intelligent manufacturing ecosystem based on the Internet, featuring openness, sharing, and collaboration. The extension of the Internet to the field of industrial production and service gives rise to new models such as crowdsourcing design and customization, which will promote the real-time interaction between producers and consumers, and the transformation from mass production to mass customization. The boundaries between Internet companies and manufacturers, and between producers and service providers are becoming increasingly blurred; the focus of production has been shifted from traditional product manufacturing to providing customers with rich products, services and even total solutions. This has helped traditional manufacturers to transform themselves into service providers that operate across sectors. The Internet is closely integrated with IoT and service network, connecting products, machines, resources, and people organically, promoting the integration of the physical world and the digital world, and advancing digital, networked, and intelligent operations throughout the whole life cycle of products and the whole manufacturing process. When the world’s industrial systems are integrated with advanced computing, analysis, sensing technology and the Internet, an open and globalized Industrial Internet will be formed (GE, 2015). The Industrial Internet, coupled with software and big data analysis, will reshape global industries and stimulate productivity.

The new scientific and technological revolution and industrial changes converge with China’s endeavor to rapidly change its growth model. The Chinese government has worked out a series of plans to make its manufacturing sector competitive, including Made in China 2025 action plan and Internet Plus action plan. The Internet Plus action plan is about giving full play to China’s strength in the size and application of the Internet. Eleven initiatives including Internet plus entrepreneurship and innovation, and Internet plus collaborative manufacturing, have been designed to promote application of the Internet from the consumer field to the production area, accelerate industrial development, and enhance the innovation capacity of various industries, creating new engines of economic and social development (State Council of China, 2015).

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Production data collection and performance analysis

In Practical E-Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management, 2004

10.2.1 Shift from manufacturer to customers and consumers

Historically, the market power base rested with the producer and owner of manufacturing capacity. As few local suppliers of manufactured goods were available, the manufacturers could more or less determine the price of their good and the structuring of their deals with retailers and distributors. The KPIs were centered on mass production practices to leverage-installed capacity to the maximum level, as the factory with the lowest production cost had an advantage over its competitors.

Over a time the power base moved from the value chain to the supply chain. With the breakdown of trade barriers and the globalization of the marketplace, customers had a wider choice of suppliers, and the retailers and distributors owned the relationship with the customer. They compelled manufacturers to make lower-cost deals, and in response, manufacturers concentrated on mass customization, supply-chain relationship management, and supply-chain process efficiency to ensure market share and profitability.

Currently, customer service is the highest priority KPI for most companies, and with the evolution of e-business strategies, all partners in the supply chain are linked and need to cooperate to ensure the continued existence of the chain. The need for better coordination and synchronization of supply and demand data between trading partners is becoming more apparent in many industries and supply chains.

Higher transaction speeds with increased access and sharing of information is driving the power base to the customer who is going to expect even more efficient support and responsiveness, and a wider range of options from manufacturers.

This change in power base has altered the business focus toward supply chain and customer service effectiveness, away from internal manufacturing efficiency. The shifting of the market power base, the changing focus of KPIs with their related business priorities and the various IT applications that have supported information requirements during the shift is depicted in Figure 10.1.

What two goals are reconciled by using mass customization in manufacturing?

Figure 10.1. The market power base moves to customer and consumer

Easy access to information gives customers more choice and a lower cost of switching between suppliers. Accurate information is required to support strategies that address customer needs and expectations, and provide the ability to drive market segmentation continuously. Manufacturers are grappling with the cultural and technological transition from push-driven efficiency to pull-driven customer service.

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Introduction to e-manufacturing systems

In Practical E-Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management, 2004

1.5 E-manufacturing challenges

Changing attitudes of customers and the dynamic market environment increase the pressure on the organizations across the world whatever may be their field of operation, product/service and size. Following is only a few of the challenges facing manufacturing organizations in the e-manufacturing era.

1.5.1 E-commerce

E-commerce refers generally to all forms of transactions relating to commercial activities that are based upon the processing and transmission of digitized data, including text, sound and visual images. It extends beyond the boundaries of a single enterprise and can be applied to almost any type of business relationship. It is far more than business-to-customer interaction over the Internet, and those who deploy solid business-to-business Internet-enabled manufacturing technologies to fulfill the instant demand and mass customization expectations generated by e-commerce will have a definite advantage.

E-commerce and supply-chain collaboration through the Internet align and strengthen the outward view, impression and operations of an organization. An outward look, without an inward look to the operation itself, reduces the full potential benefits of e-commerce and supply-chain collaboration.

E-business customers want customized orders, more order information and faster response from the manufacturing supply chain, unlike other traditional customers who order from the already produced stock (refer Figure 1.1). It therefore requires an investment in a new generation e-manufacturing system, which provides speed, flexibility and visibility to the entire enterprise and connects e-business orders to real-time production processes.

What two goals are reconciled by using mass customization in manufacturing?

Figure 1.1. The e-manufacturing challenge

1.5.2 Industry drivers

Global market

Customers now search the world

Logistics systems are improving.

Technology is changing very fast

Digital technology revolution

Mobile technology exploring

New economy trends are real.

Demanding and fickle customer

Price, quality, delivery and service

E-business and e-auction are changing the rules.

1.5.3 Company drivers

Cost efficiency

Need for size and scale

High global infrastructure costs.

Fast changing product lines

Some are exploding and some dying

Mechanical/electrical/electronic shift

Software, increasingly the key driver.

Rising business complexity

Convert to e-manufacturing

Conversion to e-business.

1.5.4 Security

Security needs to be managed from the start. Protection mechanisms include network security, platform security, application security, client authentication and authorization. Many Internet applications do not work through firewalls or require special modifications to work, as security was not designed into the solution from the beginning. Another way to address the security issue is with dedicated fibre. Big companies may consider dedicated fibre while implementing system.

1.5.5 Seamless integration

E-manufacturing requires seamless ‘sensor to boardroom and beyond’ systems integration for maximum benefit delivery (refer Figure 1.2).

What two goals are reconciled by using mass customization in manufacturing?

Figure 1.2. E-manufacturing – seamless system

The challenge is that most enterprise systems do not integrate well with operations due to the barrier created by the MRPII (refer Figure 1.3).

What two goals are reconciled by using mass customization in manufacturing?

Figure 1.3. E-manufacturing challenge

Another problem is that most enterprise systems are patched together and not well integrated. ‘Best of Breed’ solutions are costly to implement, complex to manage and require never-ending integration. Businesses are demanding more value, less risk and better integration for a competitive advantage. They require affordable enterprise-wide business systems that really work, build-to-order manufacturing systems, supply chains that run at Internet speed and integrated, open-architecture systems that can be implemented quickly and applied seamlessly, producing higher productivity, less risk and higher returns from the software investment.

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Virtual Organizations

Magid Igbaria, Pruthikrai Mahatanankoon, in Encyclopedia of Information Systems, 2003

III.B. Virtual Factories

In contrast to virtual organizations, the term virtual factories applies mostly to joint operational or manufacturing capabilities with partner firms. However, the definition of a virtual factory could also be applied to virtual teams in a single company that share knowledge regarding the company's research and development process. The definitions given here convey the fundamental concept of virtual factories:

An ever-changing network in which partner firms, whose purposes are to create mass customization product strategy, contribute to the overall enterprise based on their core competencies and produce high-quality, feature- and information-rich products tailored to specific customer needs.

A temporary alliance of companies coming together to produce rapidly changing worldwide product manufacturing opportunities.

A community of electronically networked factories, each with its core competencies, that operates as one for agility and cost focus, regardless of their physical location.

The benefits of having such arrangements permit virtual factories to exchange inventory and delivery information, including allowing potential suppliers and customers to gain access to its inventory and production data. The sharing of production information electronically, e.g., computer-aided design (CAD) drawings, manufacturing-process specifications, and know-how, leads to shorter development periods and faster product launch cycles.

III.B.1. Aerotech Service Group

AeroTech Service Group, a McDonnell Douglas spin-off, has created virtual factories that join several thousands of its suppliers to the computer-manufacturing network. These interconnections of its manufacturing communities, using the Internet as the main communication platform, have accommodated the collaboration of virtual teams to efficiently build high-performance composite components and complex prototypes. To avoid security threats, computer design files are transferred via a dedicated high-speed link to secure network nodes, which are then viewed by design engineers. The files are then transferred to on-line manufacturing machines to produce the desired products. Small suppliers that could not afford high-speed links can dial into AeroTech using a modem and download designs or programs onto their computers.

Using paperless manufacturing operations, file transfers have saved the company a tremendous amount of operating costs. Other cost savings are realized from the bidding process, which can be done electronically. Instead of inviting representatives of suppliers to its office to view engineering drawings and manufacturing-process specifications, the company now e-mails its suppliers throughout the world about job biddings and lets the suppliers download the information securely through the Internet. Furthermore, to lessen schedule slippage of projects, virtual factories can remotely check on manufacturers and subcontractors via the use of on-line scheduling or project management software. Through on-line links, the company can operate sophisticated software and machinery from afar without having to send technicians to other remote sites. All in all, AeroTech's virtual factories have profited from massive collaboration among its technological partners.

Unfortunately, collaborating electronically with different sophisticated computer manufacturing systems creates integration problems for many virtual factories. A standard protocol is required before systems with various platforms and complexities can communicate. To reduce interoperability problems, the National Industrial Infrastructure Protocols (NIIP) Consortium—a group of organizations working with the U.S. government—has developed an open industry software protocol that allows virtual factories to exchange information despite their underlying platforms. The protocol is based on existing standards, object-oriented technology, and middleware. The emergence of standards will continue to enhance collaboration and create business opportunities among existing and start-up virtual factories.

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How 3D Printing Will Change the Future of Borrowing Lending and Spending?

Abhijit Patwardhan, in Handbook of Blockchain, Digital Finance, and Inclusion, Volume 2, 2018

22.2.4 Applications

The chart represents the spectrum of applications in the 3d printing world (see Fig. 22.4). The mature applications like 3d-printed prototypes, dental implants, and personalized hearing aids make up the highest number of 3d prints worldwide and have a very sustainable business model. The embryonic applications are still in the research phase. All the remaining applications fall in the middle. They have been commercialized though may not be profitable.

What two goals are reconciled by using mass customization in manufacturing?

Figure 22.4. 3d printing applications.

3D printing has significantly reduced the time it takes for prototyping. The traditional process took months and could potentially cost thousands of dollars. Now it can take a week and cost mere hundreds of dollars. Companies can also make many more iterations at negligible marginal costs.

There are 10mn 3d-printed hearing aids in circulation globally. US companies converted to 100% 3d-printed hearing aid shells in less than 500 days.3

Hearing aid manufacturers adopted 3d printing very quickly because 3d printing could lower their costs of manufacturing while improving quality and reducing returns. Earlier hearing aids were generic and took nine steps to manufacture. Now they are personalized and it takes three steps to manufacture. This results in lower manufacturing costs and higher customer satisfaction. An additional benefit was that the designs were digital and could be reproduced very quickly if needed. Another large application is personalized dental implants and dental braces. Invisalign, a company with a revenue of $850mn uses 3d printing technology to make 18–20mn personalized orthodontic treatment devices (dental braces) annually.

Companies are adopting 3d printing to make final parts. GE's fuel nozzle that is used in their latest LEAP jet engine is a prime example.

Daihatsu, Japan's oldest car manufacturer, introduced 15 types of 3d-printed “Effect Skins” on their Copen model of cars. These skins are available in geometric and organic patterns in ten different colors. Customers can tailor the skins to their own requirement after which they are 3d-printed and installed on the fender or bumper.

Medical applications for 3d printing can be classified into three categories:


Creation of anatomical models, customized prosthetics, and implants.


Pharmaceutical printing for drug dosage and delivery.


Tissue and Organ printing.

Prosthetics makers both functional and cosmetic are increasingly turning to 3d printing. Advanced scanning and body modeling techniques can make better fitting prosthetics. Functional prosthetic hands that earlier could cost thousands of dollars can now be made for hundreds of dollars. Open Bionics is partnering with Disney to give kids the “Ironman hand” or the “Star Wars Light Saber Hand”. Now kids can get excited about their prosthetics. If you think, 3d printing prosthetics is only restricted to humans, think again. Derby is a Husky mix born with stunted forelegs. It was impossible for him to walk around like a normal dog. Last year Tara, an employee at 3D Systems fostered Derby. Determined to help him, Tara and her colleagues at 3D Systems developed a set of prosthetic legs that have enabled Derby to move around freely.

Surgeons are finding that 3d-printed surgery planning models and tools can reduce operating time and lower the risk from errors or complications. Surgeons can also plan complex surgeries with CT scan data of a patient's bones, blood vessels or other organs, converted to a 3d-printable digital file. Doctors also use 3d printers to create surgical guides that are attached to the skeletal structure of the patient to provide a map for reshaping bone structure to perfectly accommodate standard-size implants.

J&J is an active user of 3d printing with different partners. It has partnered with a biomedical start-up Organovo to evaluate the use of 3d bio-printed tissue in a drug-discovery setting and with Carbon 3D to develop custom, complex surgical devices. J&J recently also announced a partnership with HP to create custom 3d-printed devices for customers and patients.4

The FDA has already approved 85 3d printed medical devices. Some examples are spinal cages, dental devices, and hearing aids with 3d-printed components.

Materialise, a Belgian company, makes customized hip and knee implants from titanium so that they fit the patients better and accelerate post-surgery recovery. China's equivalent of the FDA approved the use of 3d-printed hip implants last year. Johnson & Johnson's DePuy Synthes is collaborating with Materialise to offer patient-specific titanium craniomaxillofacial (CMF)5 implants under the DePuy Synthes TRUMATCH portfolio.

In Aug. 2015, the FDA approved the world's first 3d-printed drug. The Zipdose epilepsy drug “Spritam” is 3d-printed so its dosage can be customized and it is easy to swallow.

A panel in the World Economic Forum held in Tianjin this year discussed the implications of 3d printing medicines at home. The consensus was that this is a distinct possibility in the next ten years. It may not be at home but under professional supervision at neighborhood pharmacies. It would be a huge step in delivering medicines that are personalized and precise. Personalized for your DNA with the precise dosage for maximum effectiveness. 3D-printed recreational drugs are expected to take off faster than medicinal drugs.

A McKinsey report says that 3d scanning and printing is one of the seven technologies that are making mass customization profitable. Profitable mass customization of products and services requires success in identifying the opportunity supported by a swift and cost effective transaction and keeping costs under control with rising manufacturing complexity. Apart from hearing aids and dental implants, there are very few successful case studies for 3d-printed mass customization. However the number of new customized products that have been launched in the last couple of years points to the inevitability of its happening.


Nike, Under Armor, and New Balance launched limited edition sneakers using 3d-printed components. New Balance is printing the entire sole and Under Armor is printing just the midsole. The sneakers are expensive but it is a matter of time before costs decline and millions of personalized shoes become a reality.


Norml.com and Ownphones.com are two start-ups personalizing Bluetooth earphones. The customer downloads a proprietary app to take photos of their ear. These images are uploaded to the website and the earphone shell is 3d-printed. The electronics are assembled and the earphones are shipped to the customer. These personalized headphones are not cheap. They start from $200 onwards.


Personalized jewelry is more successful than sneakers and earphones. Customers and designers can create the designs together or the customers create the designs from online templates. The rings or the pendants are not 3d-printed directly. The jewelry industry uses a hybrid of 3d printing and traditional metal casting processes to make the pieces. The design is 3d-printed with a wax-like resin to make a pattern. This pattern is sacrificed to make the mold. The piece is then cast using gold, silver, platinum or any other precious metal. Thanks to 3d printing, ornate designs that were impossible to make earlier are now being manufactured. Rob Wright of Ringcraft Moana, a New Zealand jeweler, has 3d printed rings embossed with the fingerprints of the bride and the groom. The 0.1-mm or 100-micron finish level that 3d printers offer allows Rob to print fingerprints without losing resolution.

In the education segment, 3d printing can bring a number of benefits to students and educators:


It makes learning more fun.


Fosters creativity and problem solving skills.


Vastly improves retention and quality of learning.


Creates excitement and engagement.


Can improve rate of learning amongst special needs individuals. E.g. visually challenged, autistic, etc.


Not expensive.

Some of the potential areas of learning that 3d printing can improve are:


Geography. A 3d print of the Grand Canyon can be a better learning aid than a 2d computer image or a photograph in a text book.


Biology. 3D printed body parts can significantly enhance learning. Feeling the texture of a brain is different from seeing it in a book or on screen. Complex structures of protein molecules in DNA can be very easily appreciated with 3d prints.


History. Important historical artifacts and monuments could be 3d-printed to allow students to appreciate history. The 3d printing manufacturer LeapFrog, in conjunction with Dutch Museum De Nieuwe Kerk, recently recreated China's entire Forbidden City from the Ming Dynasty period in 1:300 scale. Students from around the world are able to view, map, and understand the Chinese imperial palace. A total of 980 buildings make up the Forbidden City, all available for download to classrooms worldwide. Staff at the Smithsonian are also using 3d printing and scanning to recreate artifacts throughout the museum, easily available and ready to print by students. From an exact replica of the 1776 Gunboat Philadelphia to St. Lambert's Cathedral in Belgium, history teachers are using 3d printers to bring cultural treasures of the past into classrooms.6


Anthropology and Archaeology. Darryl R. Ricketts, M.S., Adjunct Instructor, Anthropology at Indiana University South Bend is using 3d-printed replicas of fossil specimens for a more hands-on learning experience. The famous fossil, Lucy the Australopithecus, is now available for any amateur paleontologists to download and 3d-print for free. 3D printing the bones has helped scientists come up with a working hypothesis about her death.

Zaha Hadid, the world famous architect, was an extensive user of 3d printing. Hob's studio, a model making workshop in the UK, whose primary clients are Zaha Hadid Architects and Fosters + Partners, has seen their demand skyrocket over the past two years. Michelle Greeff, the firm's director of 3d technologies, says: “Our main clients are Zaha and Fosters, but we've also seen more medium-sized architects start to approach us with requests for 3d printing. The costs are coming down, so it is becoming a real option for many architects now.”7

The construction industry is also trying their hand at 3d printing. There were some reports in the past about a Chinese developer 3d printing a villa. They turned out to be more hype than reality. The developer had built the supporting beams and columns in the traditional manner and 3d-printed a few walls on the ground floor. Recently however another Chinese construction company, Huangsha Tengda, 3d-printed a house in 45 days.8 The team made the entire skeleton of the house with the plumbing and the rebar and then a 3d printer using concrete encased the skeleton. Twenty tons of concrete were used to print the 250-cm thick walls. The villa can withstand earthquakes as powerful as 8 on the Richter scale, which usually flattens cities.

Dutch 3d printer manufacturer byFlow is opening the first 3D Food Printing Restaurant in The Netherlands, under the name of “Food Ink.”9 At Food Ink the main draw isn't even the food, but the way in which it's made. Everything at this concept restaurant is 3d-printed; from the food to the dishes it is served on and unbelievably the furniture. Self-described as a “conceptual pop-up dinner series where fine cuisine meets art, philosophy, and tomorrow's technologies,” this exceptionally unique experience uses 3d-printing to make everything.

We have heard of 3d printing chocolate or pasta but have you ever thought of 3d printing meat? Food Technician Peter Verstrate and Maastricht University professor Mark Post have been working on 3d-printed meat grown from beef stem cells since 2013. The first beef patty looked and tasted like the real thing but it cost $331,000.

The process begins with stem cells extracted from cow muscle tissue. These are cultured with nutrients and growth-promoting chemicals and put into smaller dishes, where they coalesce into small strips of muscle just a few centimeters long and a few millimeters thick. Finally, these strips are layered together, colored, and mixed with fat using a ‘bio-cartridge’ and 3d printing technology to precisely layer each element together. The resulting pink substance, whether in its raw or cooked form looks like the real thing. In fact, at a taste-test, the prototype was said to taste almost like a real burger, except less juicy. Their clean meat start-up Mosa Meats has now hired scientists, lab technicians and managers to create a more reasonably priced and tastier version that can be mass-produced. If they meet their objectives, their beef could cost $3.60 per pound.

The pitch for lab grown meat is less on cost and 3d printing but more on environment friendliness. According to the BBC, an independent study found that lab grown beef uses 45% less energy than the average global representative figure for farming cattle, produces 96% fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and requires 99% less land.

According to Gartner's 3d printing Hype Cycle published in July 2015, bio-printing for organ transplants or for life sciences R&D is 5–10 years away from mainstream adoption. However Dr. Atala, a leading authority in regenerative medicine and the Director at the Wakeforest Institute of Regenerative medicine, may prove Gartner wrong. He and his team have printed ear, bone, and muscle structures and successfully implanted them in animals. The structures have matured into functional tissue and sprouted new systems of blood vessels, and their strength and size mean that they could feasibly be implanted into humans in the future. L'Oreal announced a partnership with Poietis, a French bio-printing firm, to print hair follicles in an effort to offer a solution for baldness.

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Neal Adams MD, MPH, Diane M. Grieder MEd, in Treatment Planning for Person-Centered Care (Second Edition), 2014

Evidence-Based Practices

A person-centered approach should strike an appropriate balance between the use of evidence-based practices (EBPs) at all stages of the recovery process and the unique needs, preferences and values of the individual and family. Typically, “evidence” includes scientific studies as well as professional consensus regarding promising approaches and efficacious services. However, the ultimate demonstration of evidence is the fit between the intervention and the individual at a particular point in time as judged by the participation and response of the individual (i.e., the difference between efficacy and actual effectiveness). There are also concerns about the appropriateness of EBPs for multicultural populations. This has led to a growing interest in community defined practices which should also be considered in crafting a plan and identifying efficacious interventions15.

There is an inherent tension in the commitment to person-centered care and the increasing emphasis placed on providing evidence-based services. There is little in the literature that speaks to reconciling the differences and discrepancies that can exist between what science predicts as being most efficacious and the variability of personal choice and preference. While most individuals and families want the very best care and service, this does not always mean they are prepared to accept, without question, the recommendations of providers.

Brent James, MD, of Intermountain Health Systems, has attempted to resolve this problem in an approach that he describes as “mass customization16. Using the proverbial 80/20 split, he posits that all humans share about 80% of their genetics and characteristics with everyone else—we are all part of the mass. But the other 20% is what makes each person truly unique and individual. This idea can be applied to customize evidence-based practices to meet individual preference and honor a commitment to person-centered services. The 80% core should help to organize the bulk of the practice; it contains what is probably most effective most of the time. In the remaining 20%, the provider and individual need to consider how to make changes and accommodations so that personal preference is respected without unduly compromising the value of services with demonstrable benefit.

Ideally, the mental health and addictive disorders fields will evolve to a point where matching individuals’ needs and objectives to the most effective interventions is a standard and routine procedure. There is some data now to suggest the merit of using evidence-based research to specify interventions in the plan. The Journal of Studies on Alcohol notes that persons who are appropriately matched to treatment will show better outcomes than those who are unmatched or mismatched17.

Despite the intense interest in evidence-based practices, there has been little research done on how to best include them in individual person-centered plans. This is partly due to the very nature of the practices themselves. Evidence-based practices, such as assertive community treatment (ACT), supported employment or integrated dual diagnosis treatment, are not discrete interventions that can readily be identified in a service plan. For the most part there is no billing code attached to any of these practices or services. Rather, they reflect a set of values and principles, the availability of an array of services, an approach to understanding individual needs and the organization of service-delivery systems. Much of the effort to implement these practices is required at a systems and organizational level.

For example, supported employment appears to be a very effective approach to helping individuals with severe mental illness who are motivated to return to work succeed in attaining and maintaining employment18. It involves a complex mix of case management, supports and rehabilitative skill development in coordination with other services as each person’s individual barriers to successful employment are addressed and resolved. The real success in the implementation of supported employment at an individual level lies in the ability of providers to develop objectives and organize interventions both consistent with the model and responsive to the unique needs of each person. The clear articulation of interventions and services is where the real implementation of evidence-based practices occurs.

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URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780123944481000068

The mass customization decade: An updated review of the literature

Flavio S. Fogliatto, ... Denis Borenstein, in International Journal of Production Economics, 2012

1 Introduction

Mass customization (MC) is a production strategy focused on the broad provision of personalized products and services (Davis, 1989; Pine et al., 1993), mostly through modularized product/service design, flexible processes, and integration between supply chain members. Studies, e.g. Fiore et al. (2003) and Salvador et al. (2009) identified MC as driver of important competitive advantage by companies in key economic sectors such as automobile, clothing, and computer manufacturing. Successful applications of MC have been vastly reported in the literature. High-visibility studies have covered sectors including the food industry (McIntosh et al., 2010), electronics (Partanen and Haapasalo, 2004), large engineered products (Lu et al., 2009), mobile phones (Comstock et al., 2004), and personalized nutrition (Boland, 2008). Authors have also presented special MC applications such as homebuilding (Barlow et al., 2003) and the production of foot orthoses (Pallari et al., 2010).

The literature on MC has presented a significant increase in the 2001–2010 decade, since the publication of our 2001 literature review article (Da Silveira et al., 2001). In that paper, 72 relevant titles were covered including peer-reviewed articles and books, some of them not directly related to MC. At that point, our attempt was to organize the MC conceptual framework and point out to promising research directions on the emerging subject. The paper has proven to be a relevant source of information on MC, receiving hundreds of citations since its publication.

However, research on MC has evolved very significantly over the last decade. Major developments such as the heavy use of web-based configurators, the emergence of rapid manufacturing technologies, and the implementation of more structured customer-interaction methods opened up a range of new questions and studies. Examining the state of such developments in contemporary research and industry was our main motivation to prepare an updated literature review on MC. This update is of fundamental importance to research looking at advancing knowledge on methods and applications of MC in today's industrial environment.

Moving from conceptual to operational aspects of MC, this paper basically keeps the structure of its 2001 version (with the exception of a new section devoted to customer–manufacturer interaction, a subject where the literature increased significantly). The reason for that is twofold. First, we retain the analytical framework to deal with the subject conceived in the original paper, which in our view remains valid. Second, it allows comparing the amount of references within sections in the two papers visualizing subjects favored by authors in the past decade. While conceptual aspects of MC seemed already resolved in the 2001 paper, the current review displays a significant increase in the operational aspects of MC, with its enablers being under constant revision as technology evolves.

Based on the database of articles investigated, and on the directions we envisioned in our 2001 paper, we close the current paper proposing further research directions on MC. Some of the directions presented in the original paper were not properly addressed in literature in the past decade, being revisited in this paper in the light of the new developments in the area.

What is the goal for mass customization?

The goal of mass customization is to provide the possibility to create, anticipate and cater to specific consumer demands in a transparent, engaging and mutually beneficial relationship for both the company and the client.

How does mass customization support a business unit competitive strategy?

Mass customization benefits companies by ensuring cost advantages obtained due to their scale of operation, with cost per unit of output decreasing with increasing scale. Companies can produce in mass while keeping costs low. Indeed, costs related to customization operations must be considered but can be optimized.

Which technique is associated with mass customization?

The four primary types of mass customization are collaborative customization, adaptive customization, transparent customization, and cosmetic customization. Various companies employ mass customization techniques, including retail companies, software creators, financial services companies, and modular home builders.

Which manufacturing strategy provides the most flexibility for customization?

The make-to-order (MTO) strategy means that a firm only manufactures the end product once the customer places the order, creating additional wait time for the consumer to receive the product, but allowing for more flexible customization when compared to purchasing directly from retailers' shelves.