Sustainable production in emerging markets through Distributed Manufacturing Systems (DMS)
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In the future, customer value will be achieved not only through the realization of a product or a service but also through socially and environmentally responsible and economically efficient manufacturing processes encouraging positive effects for society. Distributed manufacturing systems (DMS) are currently discussed in science as a possible approach for sustainable manufacturing. This approach consists largely of the use of decentralized, adaptable and flexible mini-factories. Such production units, organized in networks, allow production-on-demand and therefore the reduction of transport and emissions. In addition, they support the growth and development of regional economic cycles. This paper proposes an increased application of DMS in emerging markets to achieve sustainable production. First, actual challenges of production in emerging markets with a special focus on sustainability are described. In a literature review, the actual state of the art in sustainable manufacturing and distributed manufacturing is presented. Second, the concept of DMS is explained, describing reasons for a trend toward distributed manufacturing. In the next section, the effect of DMS on sustainability in production in emerging markets is analyzed based on the traditional dimensions of sustainability. The paper closes with a critical discussion of DMS and an outlook on future needs in research.
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