Materials Manufacturing focuses on improving methods, processes and knowledge that amplify productivity.
One particular development that may counteract the off-shoring trend, for example, is the increasing desire for personalised products. Here, local players have an advantage over far-away competitors, as flexible production takes place rapidly after manufacturing, in the vicinity of the application of the service or product. Implementations include networked digital manufacturing, systems of networked products, and smart factories that make optimal use of workers.
Scientific topics include horizontal integration of the value chain (who does what where?), engineering workflow (design, engineering, planning, service and maintenance integration based on ICT), vertical integration of networked manufacturing systems (smart factories that are run based on big data), digitalisation of manufacturing processes (robots as ‘production tools’) and additive manufacturing (3D printing).