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Production of Quality Goods - Essay Example

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Mass customization is essentially production on demand, triggered by actual orders versus traditional mass production based on sales forecasts" ("Mass Customization: A leading paradigm in Future Manufacturing"). This is an age of producing customer specific products…
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Production of Quality Goods
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Production of Quality Goods "Mass customization is essentially production on demand, triggered by actual orders versus traditional mass production based on sales forecasts" ("Mass Customization: A leading paradigm in Future Manufacturing"). This is an age of producing customer specific products. The justification of one-size fits all has become out dated. A customer has to be satisfied at all costs. As compared with old times when a customer was offered to choose from a selected few products, customized products are in vogue to cater to his particular needs. There is a greater awareness of preferences, choices, and customization among customers. This has posed a great challenge to the industries at large. Trans National Corporations' (TNC's) producing at large scale find it very hard to break their production run and set their machines for new orders as it is rarely economically feasible for them. However, the cutthroat competition among competitors have forced production engineers and supervisors to come up with new and innovative technologies to produce customized products on a mass scale.
Computer and IT Technology, artificial intelligence, and flexible production lines driven by innovation have led to the possibility of mass customization. The idea is that industry should produce what is demanded and not what it expects to be demanded. For that to happen practically, times required to change jobs have to be reduced.
In printing industry machine operators are averse to short run jobs, as setting time for a new job is significant. A new job setting requires mainly cleaning, changing blankets, making printing plates, setting color, and supplying logistics- right sizes and colors of paper/board and ink respectively. One critical step is taking the old ink out, cleaning the fountain roller on top of color units, and again filling them up with new inks. Sometimes this may take more than 15 minutes, provided each crewmember is available at each color unit. A new device called replaceable fountain device has made life easier and has cut down the setting time. It enables the machine operator to fill up replaceable fountains with desired inks while the previous job is still running. For setting the new job, the installed fountains are taken out and are substituted with the newly filled replaceable fountains. Thus the downtime of the machine is reduced and new customized orders can be entertained without compromising on the production performance.
The level of customization is not infinite. "Stable Solution Space - the space within which a mass customization offering is able to satisfy a customer's need" ("Mass Customization") determines the level of customization that an industry can offer. For example, if an industry can afford to customize two out of ten components during manufacturing than customizing the third component will not be feasible, as it would compromise its mass production. So, there is an essential trade off between mass customization and mass production. The impact of this trade off can only be minimized in favor of mass customization through innovative and time saving technologies.
Mass customization is not only a concept but also a widely held belief of the new industry. In this age of globalization, monopolies are to break and new and efficient industries offering customized products, manufactured on mass scale are to take lead.
Works Cited
Butcher, David. "A leading paradigm in Future Manufacturing". February 14, 2006.
http://news.thomasnet.com/IMT/archives/2006/02/innovative_manu.html
"Mass Customization". Revised version. October 2005
http://www.mass-customization.de/glossary.htm Read More
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