Mass Customization - Automated local production with the new flexible manufacturing methods

Now that the factory and manufacturing machines of today are both flexible and fully automated there is a new opportunity to digitalize the entire process between end customer and the manufacturing machine. Though digitalization and clever automation the process can become as cost effective as traditional manufacturing in fixed sizes. The big difference is that it then can be done locally where the end customer and tailor made for the end customers needs.

Customization of product in the project Smarta Fabriker.

“By automating all the way we can make customized products cost effective and the new normal. Instead of mass manufacturing in fixed sizes we can start producing locally and tailor made for the end user.” - Kristofer Skyttner, CEO Skymaker A user scenario that illustrates this could be the ordering of a customized tray together with a set of rigid parts (part of one of Smarta Fabrikers supply chains)

User Scenario for custom trays - the digital process step by step

1. The end user should do the customization themselves

The end customer customizes the order through a dynamic tool for guided customization of the part directly on the Smarta Fabriker customer portal. Tools like these need to contain all the rules and flexibility that the product designer have added to the product. The untrained end user should never be able to do anything wrong. In this case the tool is developed and published on the DynaMaker cloud service for mass customization tools (

2. Instant feedback on price and delivery

The customer should get instant feedback of price and delivery time for the customized part and can decide how and when to make the order. The end customer then provides payment details and confirms the order online.

3. Auto generation of all manufacturing information

One key to cost efficiency is the auto generation of all bom lists, 2d-drawings and 3D-files needed for manufacturing. This can be done for each customized product by tightly coupling the process with the dynamic tools that was used for the initial customization. The product designer need to anticipate the variations that can come and quality assure a span of variations, instead of just one size.

4. Optimizing the Order Que

The order queue is optimized based on other orders delivery times and materials.

5. Post process of manufacturing files with settings of the day

When the customized order reaches the end of the que the manufacturing files are sent to each machine needed. As a last step the manufacturing files are post processed with the machine specific calibration and tooling settings before sent to the machine. In this case the slicing software Simplify 3D is used to prepare the model for additive manufacturing.

6. Production is started

The production in the chosen machine can now begin. Keeping track of each part is crucial and branding the product with the unique order id from the dynamic tool can be an efficient way of keeping track of all parts. In this case the product is 3d-printed with a machine from ZYYX.

7. The part is packaged and shipped to end customer

Film describing the process from customization to manufacturing:


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This article is categorised as Intermediate  |  Published 2019-03-30  |  Authored by Johan Bengtsson