Mobile On-site Factories – scalable and distributed manufacturing systems for the construction industry
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The concept of the "On-site Factory" consists in the temporary use of fully functioning mobile mini-factories or production cells at the site of consumption. This concept of a Mobile Factory is well suitable for situations in the construction industry with long distances and therefore high logistics costs. The advantage of this concept is not only the proximity to customers, but also the economic efficiency combined with a maximum of flexibility. By a high degree of reconfigurability and scalability of the On-site Factory, it can also be adapted to its individual mission and the quantity demand at the construction site. This paper presents the current state of research in the area of distributed manufacturing as well as on-site and off-site manufacturing. It discusses the need for new and innovative JIT solutions for construction industry and addresses the specific requirements for scalable and reconfigurable on-site manufacturing factories. The main content of this research paper consists in the definition of generally applicable Design Parameters for On-site Factories using Axiomatic Design as a methodology for the analysis of functional requirements and the related design solutions. Through practical examples and illustrations, the application of the deduced Design Parameters will be explained.
Received the Best Track Paper Award for the Paper in the section Construction Management