Manufacturing to order (ATO) cars & parts?

Author:  Javier Borda Elejabarrieta. Prof. Dr. Ing., President of Sisteplant.


Sure, we are actually doing so. Question is at which rate?

ATO (assembly to order) combination of different standard parts in the final stages is the state in the automotive industry, the most advanced sector in manufacturing, so cloned elsewhere.

But the long assembly lines conceived for big runs restrain other conceptions that technology as 3Dp opens.

What if doing it by cells, or by combination of these with virtual-reconfigurable flow lines? Cells with high-integrated inputs from other cells or suppliers.

Factories would change from their roots, and had to be rebuilt from scratch, but modular manufacturing MTO-cells opens path for:

  • Agile-customized designs, and “one of a kind” cars.
  • Less restricted use of new technologies embedded in process lines with a faster “mise au point”.
  • Smaller synergistic teams that live both the personalized product and process quality in a unique-integrated way.
  • Human sounded use of A.I. models for practical problems.

Electric cars are the opportunity to do so, and this revolution in the way cars are made will be extended to components makers, aerospace, pharma and other high-tech sectors in which the agile, stricted integration of one-of-a kind design and manufacturing are the soul.

Find here a paper I presented in Berlin with the IFIP (UNESCO) around 20 years ago, about this convenient evolution.

Variants management and extended enterprise models for the car maker’s factory of the future



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