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Engineering >> 2018, Volume 4, Issue 5 doi: 10.1016/j.eng.2018.07.020

The Future of Manufacturing: A New Perspective

a Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA
b School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA
c School of Materials Science and Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA

Received:2018-01-29 Revised:2018-07-02 Accepted: 2018-07-23 Available online:2018-07-29

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Many articles have been published on intelligent manufacturing, most of which focus on hardware, software, additive manufacturing, robotics, the Internet of Things, and Industry 4.0. This paper provides a different perspective by examining relevant challenges and providing examples of some less-talked-about yet essential topics, such as hybrid systems, redefining advanced manufacturing, basic building blocks of new manufacturing, ecosystem readiness, and technology scalability. The first major challenge is to (re-)define what the manufacturing of the future will be, if we wish to: raise public awareness of new manufacturing’s economic and societal impacts, and garner the unequivocal support of policymakers. The second major challenge is to recognize that manufacturing in the future will consist of systems of hybrid systems of human and robotic operators; additive and subtractive processes; metal and composite materials; and cyber and physical systems. Therefore, studying the interfaces between constituencies and standards becomes important and essential. The third challenge is to develop a common framework in which the technology, manufacturing business case, and ecosystem readiness can be evaluated concurrently in order to shorten the time it takes for products to reach customers. Integral to this is having accepted measures of “scalability” of non-information technologies. The last, but not least, challenge is to examine successful modalities of industry–academia–government collaborations through public–private partnerships. This article discusses these challenges in detail.





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