Designing assembly lines for mass customization production systems
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This book chapter focuses on the design of assembly lines and systems for the production of mass customized products. It reviews the state of the art in Mass Customization and Mass Customization Manufacturing (MCM) to give an overview of existing research, actual findings and future trends of manufacturing and assembly systems for this application. A framework for a systematic design of assembly for MC products is described. The framework discusses product design requirements, the design of MC assembly systems, requirements for MC shop floor management in assembly as well as opportunities for MC assembly through the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0). Afterwards a real case study at a medium sized manufacturer of electromotors shows an example of successful assembly systems design for make to order production with high product variety and mass customized products. The experience from the case study shows a concept based on the combination of manual assembly and automated stations as well as the integration of RFID technology in the assembly process. The chapter closes with a brief summary of the guidelines for assembly systems design for Mass Customization and the experience form the case study. Further, the conclusions give an outlook to future research activities.