Dispersed Manufacturing Networks: Challenges for Research and Practice

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Rob Dekkers
Springer Science & Business Media, Jun 26, 2009 - Technology & Engineering - 257 pages

Customers in geographically dispersed, emerging and established global markets nowadays demand higher quality products in a greater variety and at lower cost in a shorter time. As a result, firms have been forced to reorganize their activities and realign their global strategies in order to provide the speed and flexibility necessary to respond to windows of market opportunity. Consequently, organizations have moved from centralized, vertically integrated, single-site manufacturing facilities to geographically dispersed networks of resources. Additionally, in order to acquire technological know-how and assets quickly, or to acquire a local presence in new and distant markets, strategic partners are increasingly part of the network structure. The changes require adaptations by companies to fit the characteristics of industrial networks in dynamic environments:

  • firstly, network configurations require a control structure and organizational structure that fits the actual demand, and companies have started to move away from the control paradigm of the monolithic company towards managing the emergent properties of networks;
  • secondly, with the move towards OEMs as network players there has been a greater tendency for manufacturing to become a commodity, which has accelerated under the regime of brand owners;
  • thirdly, the added value of industrial networks includes more product and process innovations and the extension of capabilities with manufacturing services.

Industrial networks provide an answer to the current challenges of innovative potential, responsiveness and flexibility through their capability for absorbing change and capturing market opportunities. The emerging possibilities of information technology and data-communication, the globalization of markets, and the ongoing specialization of firms have paved the way for Dispersed Manufacturing Networks as organizational manifestation for collaboration and coordination across loosely connected agents.

Dispersed Manufacturing Networks provides new perspectives of Dispersed Manufacturing Systems from the point of view offered by complex systems theory. The book elaborates on issues of coordination and planning and offers new solutions for logistics problems and for developing cooperation in engineering networks. These methods and tools offer pathways to the development of integrative approaches. In addition, the impact of globalization is discussed for both managerial decision-making and operational performance of supply chains. A strong emphasis is made on the need for continuous decision-making with recognition of the fact that networks of loosely connected agents require different approaches.


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Industrial Networks of the Future Review of Research and Practice
Networks as Complex Adaptive Systems
Dispersed Network Manufacturing An Emerging Form of Collaboration Networks
SelfSimilarity and Criticality in Dispersed Manufacturing A Contribution to Production Networks Control
Collaborations in Industrial Networks The Co Evolutionary Perspective
Control and Coordination in Industrial Networks
Designing and Modeling Agile SupplyDemand Networks
Developing a Worldwide Production Network
Planning in Companies with Dispersed Capacity
Managing Product Variety in Multinational Corporation Supply Chains A Simulation Study Investigating Flow Time
SetUp and Operation of Global Engineering Networks Spanning Industrialized and Emerging Economies
What Follows
About the Editor
About the Authors

Framework for Developing an Agile FutureProof Supply Chain
International Issues of Industrial Networks

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About the author (2009)

Rob Dekkers holds both a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering and a doctoral degree, both from Delft University of Technology. He joined the University of the West of Scotland in 2006, having previously been a Senior Lecturer in Industrial Organisation and Management at Delft University of Technology, and, during his time in industry, an internal consultant, a production manager and a senior project manager.

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