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Product configurators in SME one-of-a-kind production with the dominant variation of the topology in a hybrid manufacturing cloud

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Abstract

The majority of the current product configurators defined for the small or medium-sized enterprise one-of-a-kind production (SME OKP) with the dominant variation of the product by typology are derived from the assemble-to-order (ATO) production configurators. Unfortunately, they do not provide the customers with the possibility to adjust the products to their specific needs and further configuration-related actions through specialized software interfaces are required. On the basis of a detailed 1-year-long customer behavior tracking and analysis, the following key issues of the actual configurators have been defined: a low degree of the product adjustment, the complexity of the process of modeling the adjusted product, the extension of the leading time, a separated process of modeling, and the establishment of the communication channel between the customer and the manufacturer in the real time. The proposed solution is based on integrating the existing configurators into one common software application. It should act mainly as the necessary real-time communication channel between the customer and manufacturer in order to alleviate the effects of the product complex paradox. With this concept, the reduction of the leading time is observed as the additional positive effect. The case study illustrates the basic principles and technology required for the practical realization of the proposed solution for the configuration processes of the products in the SME OKP for the PVC windows manufacturing in the hybrid manufacturing cloud environment.

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Correspondence to Dejan S. Aleksic.

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Aleksic, D.S., Jankovic, D.S. & Rajkovic, P. Product configurators in SME one-of-a-kind production with the dominant variation of the topology in a hybrid manufacturing cloud. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 92, 2145–2167 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00170-017-0286-1

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Keywords

  • Product configurators
  • SME one-of-a-kind production
  • Product complex paradox
  • Hybrid CMfg model