A taxonomy of manufacturing distributions and their comparative relations to sustainability

Stephen Fox (Corresponding Author), Büşra Alptekin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)


    There are many different types of manufacturing distributions, ranging from subsistence do-it-yourself (DIY) to centralized industrial production. In this paper, a taxonomy is introduced of alternative manufacturing distributions for sustainable production. First, different types of manufacturing distributions are explained. Second, the importance of location-specific considerations is illustrated through a case study of Turkish car production. Third, comparative sustainability analysis for different manufacturing distributions is provided. This includes economic, ecological, social and institutional sustainability. Fourth, factors affecting the sustainability of all manufacturing distributions are explained. Fifth, the taxonomy is introduced, together with an example of comparative sustainability analysis for two alternative types of manufacturing distributions. Overall, it is argued that different manufacturing distributions have different strengths and weaknesses depending on multiple factors. Moreover, in some situations, centralized manufacturing can have higher potential for sustainable production than other distributions of manufacturing. Hence, the taxonomy is introduced to facilitate increased specificity and balance in debate concerning alternative manufacturing distributions for sustainable production.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1823-1834
    JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2018
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Artisanal distributed manufacturing
    • Centralized manufacturing
    • DIY distributed manufacturing
    • Industrial distributed manufacturing
    • Sustainable production
    • Taxonomy
    • Turkey


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