03 Mar Cloud Manufacturing
“Cloud manufacturing is a service oriented manufacturing model that virtualizes manufacturing resources and capabilities into on-demand services accessed through the manufacturing cloud. This transforms manufacturing supply lines to become temporary, and provide greater flexibility and scalability resulting in increased resilience and sustainability throughout the manufacturing process. Cloud manufacturing is a multi-tenant, intelligent, knowledge based platform that can provide sustainable solutions throughout the product and process life cycle via effective collaboration, data mining, and communication across a network of developers, manufacturers and consumers.”
Cloud Manufacturing (CM) is a service oriented business model to share manufacturing capabilities and resources on a cloud platform. Manufacturing is under pressure to achieve cost and environmental impact reductions, as manufacturing becomes more integrated and complex. Cloud manufacturing offers a solution, as it is capable of making intelligent decisions to provide the most sustainable and robust manufacturing route available.
Four key methods of how CM increases sustainability are identified: (1) collaborative design; (2) greater automation; (3) improved process resilience and (4) enhanced waste reduction, reuse and recovery. The first two key methods are common to both discrete and process manufacturing, however key methods (3) and (4) are more process manufacturing specific and application of CM for these has yet to be fully realised.
A major advantage of CM over traditional manufacturing systems is the scalability offered. By nature, CM production lines are no longer fixed but temporary, allowing for the option of small or long production runs depending on the user and market demands [28,31]. Users of manufacturing resources are matched to the nearest available and appropriate manufacturing resource provider depending on their need. These supply lines are highly reconfigurable, dynamic and agile giving CM the ability to adapt to unpredicted changes of circumstance. For the system to be agile when repurposing manufacturing resources across any number of sites, a high level of automation across the supply lines shall be required (Fisher et al., 2018).
- Fisher, O.; Watson, N.; Porcu, L.; Bacon, D.; Rigley, M.; Gomes, R. (2018). “Cloud manufacturing as a sustainable process manufacturing route”. Journal of Manufacturing Systems, Volume 47, Pages 53-68.
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