Next generation manufacturing systems and the virtual enterprise
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Next Generation Manufacturing Systems (NGMS) will support the Next Generation Manufacturing Enterprises (NGMEs). Adaptive distributed manufacturing systems seem to be a promising solution for NGMEs to provide increased levels of flexibility, reconfigurability and intelligence to respond to the highly dynamic market demands. Virtual Enterprises (VEs) are expected to be the dominant manufacturing enterprise model in the 21st Century. VEs promise new possibilities where a manufacturing system is not know in advance and has to be structured, optimized and implement from scratch to produce e.g. one-of-a-kind products. VEs can approach each industrial project with tailored manufacturing systems represented by a temporary integration of processes capabilities and resources capacities from multiple enterprises in order to meet or exceed the quality-, time- and cost-frame requirements of the customer. VE paradigm represents the future of the NGMEs, and can be also used to provide industrial services in a collaborative way to evolve from physical products to the notion of extended products. © 2009 IFAC.