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The advent of new production technologies is changing monozukuri (creative manufacturing).
Products made by startup companies that generate new business cater to the specific needs of consumers. These products are so-called “goods started from the consumers’ side” that differ from conventional goods produced systematically by large companies.
However, these goods may not be an easy option for many consumers as the quality and distribution of such goods may not be securely guaranteed. How can these goods started from the consumers’ side be dealt with in a regular market with a steady guarantee as an “ordinary option” just like mass-produced goods?
The answer to this question poses a challenge to shift from current manufacturing to monozukuri of a new era.
Here we propose a crowd manufacturing concept.
Crowd manufacturing creates an environment that connects people who want to or can create goods with people who want to use the goods, in order for goods started from the consumers’ side to be steadily delivered to consumers. In such an environment, new goods are easily created, and a small business can easily grow into a big one.
The first thing to be done is creating a network that connects factories.
When factories share and coordinate the production plan and manufacturing conditions between factories, production can be consigned to other factories in order to deal with an urgent increase in production. This enables a smooth transit from small-scale production to mass production.
When factories establish a network through which they can maintain flexible manufacturing capacity, they can add sales channels, maintenance service, and an IoT platform.
Maintain incidental service, which is difficult to prepare in advance, through the network.
Products that are highly controlled by sensors will most likely be created in the area of products that need personal customization, and those that need updating and frequent maintenance over time.
Then such products will be purchased by many people and used reassuringly through regular maintenance.
Crowd manufacturing ultimately aims to create a society where general consumers create the goods they want, and the goods are used as a service.
In such a society, a basic drawing of goods for consumers is shared, for example. Based on the drawing, a local community bus is customized for local residents and runs in the community, and a business model of the community bus they invented can be distributed as a product so that the new business can be expanded to other communities. Through this approach, goods and services that consumers want are shared in society as an easy and reassuring option to be utilized.