Companies developing products seek to offer a solution to their user. Aiming to meet specific needs of user groups, many companies choose for the development and launch of product families or multiple product variants. Ultimately, the degree of customization could be such that products would be configured and manufactured specifically according to the needs of individual customers. The search for greater individualization of products is not recent. In the 1980s, the Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) approach was developed and used to integrate product data and business processes. Among other CIM objectives, integration was seen as a way to enable greater product customization. Over the years, the limitations of the CIM, as the difficulty of effective integration between information systems and the lack of equipment flexibility, indicated that the individualization of products was still a distant goal. In the 1990s, the Mass Customization approach applied fundamentals of CIM and greater emphasis on production management to seek product individualization. This approach has had limited adoption due to scale cost advantages and reduced complexity of traditional mass production systems, which kept the product individualization not economically viable. In the 2000s, many companies, such as automotive OEMs, widely adopted the concepts of product platforms and modularization, aiming to increase product variants available for their clients. The variant approach allows greater customization without sacrificing completely the advantages of full mass production. Despite increased options for customers, the products are not yet individualized. More recently, the development of new more flexible and comprehensive data management systems and product manufacturing technologies indicate the opportunity to resume the implementation of the original CIM and Mass Customization concepts with the aim of enabling the individualized production. Such technologies include Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) systems and Additive Manufacturing, also known as 3D printing. This project considers the study of these novel PLM systems and Additive Manufacturing technologies. The project goal is to design and deploy a Mass Customization scenario base on PM, to customization of product design, and Additive Manufacturing, for custom manufacturing. The implemented scenario will allow testing and evaluating the effectiveness of the adopted solution. The expected outcomes of the project include the specification of the Mass Customization scenario, the specification of the necessary integrations between PLM and other software and hardware, the definition of business processes and the analysis of the proposed solution effectiveness by means of indicators.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: