Moveable factories for leapfrog manufacturing in an industrial economy

Stephen Fox (Corresponding Author), Mark Richardson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    Moveable factories can enable leapfrogging of fixed industrial factories, and so make immediate contributions to global goals of more resilient sustainable manufacturing. Moveable factories bring into use diverse technological advances that reduce the number, size, and weight of machines needed to carry out manufacturing operations at points of supply and/or demand. However, fixed industrial factories continue to be the principal focus for development and application of new manufacturing technologies. At the same time, fixed industrial factories continue to be seen by policy makers around the world as the default option for developing prosperity: rather than as an old fashioned production paradigm to be leapfrogged over. In this paper, findings are reported from a case study investigating potential for moveable factories to bring leapfrog manufacturing to an industrial economy. This case study comprised literature review, interviews, and theoretical analyses. Study findings indicate that organisations in an industrial economy will consider moveable factories if fixed factories are not feasible, practical, or viable. By contrast, potential for improved efficiency and flexibility may not be sufficient to motivate a shift away from fixed industrial factories.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-14
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • industrial psychology
    • leapfrogging
    • manufacturing
    • moveable factories
    • technology diffusion


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