White Paper

Guide to Mass Customization

This guide will provide manufacturers with insights into the different approaches to customization, how to choose the most applicable approach, and more.

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  1. What is Mass Customization?
  2. Mass Customization Advantages and Disadvantages
  3. Types of Mass Customization
  4. Technologies for Mass Customization
  5. Mass Customization Workflows

What is Mass Customization?

Mass customization is a marketing and manufacturing technique that combines the flexibility and personalization of custom-made products with the low unit costs associated with mass production.

Traditional mass production involves the manufacturing of large quantities of standardized products in an efficient process. The continuous production of standardized products was made possible by the discovery of electricity and the invention of the assembly line, which marked the beginning of the second industrial revolution. With the assembly line, production moved to large, centralized facilities to aid the mass production of goods. The third industrial revolution began around 1970 with the increasing automation of entire production processes, progressively removing human assistance and replacing it with robotics and automated manufacturing tools. The current period, Industry 4.0, is characterized by the application of information and communication technologies to industry.

While mass production is all about producing a large number of goods at the lowest possible cost, custom manufacturing is the opposite end of the spectrum, defined as the process of designing, engineering, and producing goods based on a customer’s unique specifications. Traditional custom manufacturing is usually applied on a small scale or in short production runs to meet niche customer requirements and is traditionally associated with higher costs.

Mass Customization Advantages and Disadvantages

Mass customization has its unique benefits, but it’s not a good fit for all applications.

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