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New Realities in Manufacturing

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TAIPEI, Taiwan – The 2nd and final day of the Forum on the Future of Manufacturing that took place earlier today in Taipei, Taiwan addressed new realities in the manufacturing of bikes, bike products as well as sporting goods. Realities like the fact that the manufacturing shift to cheap labor countries is not a sustainable business model any longer.

New Realities in Manufacturing
WFSGI secretary general Robbert de Kock concluded that the 2-day Forum addressed all the facets of the emerging new business model for manufacturing bikes, bike products and sporting goods. – Photo Bike Europe

On the 2nd day of the Future of Manufacturing Forum, organized by the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI), an emerging new business model for manufacturing was discussed in all its facets and, in particular, with new technologies that come into play. That new business model is needed as, next to the continued growth in salaries in especially Asia, rising energy costs as well as continued increase in air and water pollution will undoubtedly lead to interventions.

Porsche Consulting

Being prepared for the new reality in manufacturing involves many aspects which were addressed by several expert speakers. Porsche Consulting presented for instance how companies (and not only Porsche) can implement lean production and just-in-time, the manufacturing principles which are already decades old.

Nowadays lean production and just-in-time stands at such a level at the Porsche factory in Stuttgart, Germany that stocks have been brought down to just three to four hours of production! And that is at a car factory making 480 Porsche’s a day.

Prototyping and 3D printing

The emerging new business model for manufacturing incorporates new technologies like 3D printing. One of the Forum’s expert speakers noted that this will take, “the complexity out of manufacturing.” It will bring prototyping phases down to hours instead of months. “The perspective on 3D printing is currently like seeing an iceberg. The top is seen, but the possibilities 3D printing offers are huge and have not been conceived yet by many manufacturers. It will change the mindset on manufacturing,” was one of the many conclusions made at the 2-day conference.

All of the conclusions will be reported in the December 2013 and the Jan/Feb printed editions of Bike Europe. They will also become available digitally at this website.

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