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Made to Order: Customization in Internet-enabled Manufacturing

"Made to order," a phrase that began with the service industry, is now vital to the future of U.S. manufacturing. Manufacturing production is growing at its fastest pace in more than a decade, creating more economic value per dollar than any other sector. Adding to this surge is customization--the ability to quickly and efficiently make what you want, when you want it.

Large-scale customization is possible due to a combination of Internet-based business platforms and advances in manufacturing. From 3-D printing to cyber-physical manufacturing systems, today's and tomorrow's engineering research holds promise to improve productivity in both production and the supply chain, benefiting suppliers and customers along the way.

Credit: NSF

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