- Instant manufacturing
Instant manufacturing, also called direct manufacturing or on-demand manufacturing, is an evolving concept in
manufacturingtechnology. The idea is to obtain the advantages of conventional mass production(such as high output volume, low unit cost, reliable interchangeability and quality control, and minimized need for person-hours of labor) while bypassing its disadvantages (mainly the capital intensityand lead timeassociated with toolroomwork). Another way to understand the concept is to view it as the next step in the gradual development of manufacturing technology, which since the Industrial Revolutionhas evolved from skilled handcrafts to armory practice to (what we currently call) conventional mass production. The next step involves further innovation in information technology(IT) and its further integration into manufacturing, to the point where computer-controlled machines can create finished products directly from information (via digital files, that is, "electronic blueprints") without the need for intermediate toolroom work. The analogy of a "next step" has its limits, as the evolution of IT-based automationin manufacturing technology has been a continuous spectrum rather than a set of discrete steps. However, the analogy is useful for basic understanding.
While armory practice and conventional
mass productionsucceeded in drastically reducing the need for skill and human labor time per unit output of finished goods, they did not eliminate it. They did eliminate a good portion of it, and transferred another portion from the factory floor to the toolroom. (The latter transfer has often been called "building the skill into the machine tool.") Instant manufacturing aims to one-up this achievement by using IT to whittle down what remains of the need for human labor time (of any type—skilled or unskilled, factory floor or toolroom).
Some simple examples through which to understand this idea are the following:
* If you have a robot that has the ability to move quickly while also knowing its position in 3D space to within a fraction of a millimeter, it is more efficient to have a computer program instruct the robot to move to a certain spot and drill a hole than to have a laborer measure carefully to the spot and drill, or to have a toolmaker create a jig or fixture for the laborer to use.
* If you can create a plastic part by aiming lasers at certain spots where powder or liquid is changed to solid, then you don't need to make a mold, as would traditionally be needed for such parts.
Mechanical, electromechanical, and hydraulic forms of
automationall existed in impressive states by the time of the second world war; but in order for instant manufacturing to evolve from pre-WWII-style mass production, computertechnology was needed ( transistors, integrated circuits, software, CNC, PLC, robotics, and so on). (Advancing materials science and engineering has also been key.) Although every decade since that war has brought impressive advances in the development of IT and its integration into manufacturing, an era of robust and widely distributed instant manufacturing is only now just beginning.
* . "An important work on the development of manufacturing technology up to World War II. This technology was the basis to which was added computer technology to arrive at current IT-automated manufacturing."
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Instant noodles — in a typical block like form Instant noodles are dried or precooked noodles and are often sold with packets of flavoring including seasoning oil. Dried noodles are usually eaten after being cooked or soaked in boiling water for 2 to 5… … Wikipedia
Instant coffee — is a beverage derived from brewed coffee beans. Through various manufacturing processes the coffee is dehydrated into the form of powder or granules. These can be rehydrated with hot water to provide a drink similar (though not identical) to… … Wikipedia
Threading (manufacturing) — Threading is the process of creating a screw thread. More screw threads are produced each year than any other machine element. There are many methods of generating threads, including subtractive methods (many kinds of thread cutting and… … Wikipedia
Direct digital manufacturing — Direct digital manufacturing, sometimes called additive, rapid, direct, instant, or on demand manufacturing, is a manufacturing process which creates physical parts directly from 3D CAD files or data using computer controlled additive and… … Wikipedia
Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd — Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd, or NMUK is a car manufacturing plant in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom. It is owned and operated by the European division of Japanese car manufacturer Nissan. It is the largest car plant in the… … Wikipedia
Mass production — This article is about large scale production. For the Iggy Pop piece, see The Idiot (album). For the American funk band, see Mass Production (band). Mass production (also flow production, repetitive flow production, series production, or serial… … Wikipedia
Toolroom — The word toolroom (less often styled tool room or tool room) has three related senses. The senses have evolved over the past two centuries as technology itself has evolved. Storing tools The oldest and most concrete sense of the word toolroom is… … Wikipedia
Rapid prototyping — For rapid software prototyping, see rapid application development. A rapid prototyping machine using selective laser sintering. Rapid prototyping is the automatic construction of physical objects using additive manufacturing technology. The first … Wikipedia
Selective laser sintering — An SLS machine being used at the Centro Renato Archer in Brazil. Selective laser sintering (SLS) is an additive manufacturing technique that uses a high power laser (for example, a carbon dioxide laser) to fuse small particles of plastic, metal… … Wikipedia
Direct metal laser sintering — (DMLS) is an additive metal fabrication technology developed by EOS out of Munich, Germany, sometimes also referred to by the terms selective laser sintering (SLS) or selective laser melting (SLM). The process involves use of a 3D CAD model… … Wikipedia