Brokering Additive Manufacturing has published and presented their second paper entitled “Achieving responsive and sustainable manufacturing through a brokered agent-based production paradigm” at the International Conference on Sustainable Design and Manufacturing (SDM).
Since the 1980s society has been largely satisfied with modern manufacturing’s production practice. We are able to develop supply chains that can produce today’s highly complex and advanced products and are able to scale mass production to meet much of society’s demands.
However, our growing reliance on a constrained set of production practices leaves society exposed when societal conditions drastically change (e.g., COVID-19). Mass-customisation also suggests that the future manufacturing landscape will be far more volatile requiring a response that cannot be achieved today. Sustainable manufacturing is also of prominent and critical importance, and a reliance on other nation’s production capabilities has concerned many nations potentially leaving them exposed during trade negotiations and diplomacy.
While concerns exist, the rapidly maturing field of Additive Manufacturing (AM) and its highly distributed and diverse nature may be able to alleviate them. If we can broker it effectively, AM can come together as one to tackle local, regional, national, and international needs. In this paper, we take a closer look at the drivers that are requiring us to re-think production practice. This is followed by a proposition that effective brokering of AM could mitigate the drivers. The paper then summarises the work the manufacturing community needs to perform in order to make it a reality.
Brokering, Additive Manufacturing, Agent-Based Manufacturing, Responsive Manufacturing, Mass-Customisation, Production Constraints, Big Demand, Sustainable Production, COVID-19.