Moveable factories: how to enable sustainable widespread manufacturing by local people in regions without manufacturing skills and infrastructure

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    21 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Moveable factories enable high performance manufacturing. They carry their own power generation and are built to cover rough terrain. Hence, they have potential to enable more widespread modern manufacturing. In this paper, findings are reported from a study addressing two research questions. First, what goods should be produced by local people in regions without manufacturing skills and infrastructure? Second, how can lack of manufacturing skills and infrastructure be overcome? The study comprised literature review, semi-structured interviews, and structured questionnaire. Research participants are from Horn of Africa and from West Africa. All the goods that research participants considered to have potential for profitable production can be made with types of moveable factories that are available. Lack of local skills can be overcome through application of task design using proven techniques. In addition, techniques for designing capable production processes are applicable to moveable production. Established techniques for optimizing mix of production facilities, locations, and routes are also applicable. The robust mobility of moveable factories, and application of proven techniques, reduces the need for manufacturing infrastructure. Moveable factories are relevant to literature and debate concerning re-shoring/on-shoring/right-shoring/best-shoring manufacturing, sustainable manufacturing, advanced manufacturing, and distributed manufacturing. The relevance of moveable factories to these topics is analysed in terms of Resource-Based Theory, Knowledge-Based View, and Transaction Cost Economics.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)49-60
    JournalTechnology in Society
    Volume42
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Keywords

    • moveable factories
    • re-shoring/on-shoring/right-shoring/bestshoring
    • manufacturing, sustainable manufacturing, advanced manufacturing, and distributed manufacturing
    • Base/Bottom of Pyramid

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