By Arrais-Castro, A.; Varela, M.L.R.; Carmo-Silva, S.
Intelligent Systems, Control and Automation: Science and Engineering
Competition in the global economy is intensifying the implementation of the mass customization paradigm. This requires a substantial increase in the personalized interaction between client and producer. Agility in the order-production-delivery cycle optimization is a key element for industrial enterprises as a means to meet requirements of this paradigm. The use of agile methodologies for this purpose requires improving processes of product specification and product data management. Under today’s technology this tends to be predominantly carried out with the aid of the Internet using mostly web services. For a company, this also requires better integration of front-office processes (interaction with the outside) and back office (including production processes). Mass Customization scenarios are characterized by large product variety dependent on product specific requirements of individual customers. In this process there is a need to provide the customer with tools for easy product specification, selection or configuration. Web-based configurators can provide an opportunity to both producer and customer, through an interactive process, for a more formal, faster, effective and better product and orders specification. In this paper, we propose an architecture and describe functionalities of a web-based system for interactive products and customer orders configuration. The proposed system can also be a valuable tool to support production and delivery.