This paper reviews the new concept “microfactory” and related developments. Machined parts are becoming progressively smaller, so production machinery that remains a conventional size is often inappropriate for such products. The term “microfactory” represents an entirely new approach to design and manufacture that minimizes production systems to match the size of the parts they produce. It leads to conservation of space and energy, and the reduction of investment and operational costs, as well as the reduction of emissions and the load on operators. Furthermore, it provides a system with dynamic reconfigurability, aiming at a light and agile manufacturing system optimized for current manufacturing needs in a borderless and highly competitive market. In Japan, research institutes, research consortia, and the private sector have carried out targeted research and development aimed at this concept for over a decade. Some systems are past the research stage and in daily use. Outside Japan, the philosophy and advantages of microfactory have reached an appreciative audience in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Microfactory is at the cutting edge of competitive manufacturing in the 21st century, ushering in a multidimensional paradigm shift. Here we also briefly examine some future tasks.
Microfactory—Concept, History, and Developments
Contributed by the Manufacturing Engineering Division for publication in the JOURNAL OF MANUFACTURING SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING. Manuscript received February 11, 2004; revised September 26, 2004. Associate Editor: J. Ni.
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Okazaki, , Y., Mishima, and , N., and Ashida , K. (February 4, 2005). "Microfactory—Concept, History, and Developments ." ASME. J. Manuf. Sci. Eng. November 2004; 126(4): 837–844. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1823491
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