“A pessimist sees the problem in every opportunity; the optimist sees the opportunity in every problem.”

—Winston Churchill

In the manufacturing world, mass customization means the automated manufacturing of bespoke products. For example, windows come in all sizes and shapes but are produced with the same machinery in large quantities. Mass customization can be understood as the combination of the concepts of direct digital manufacturing (DDM) and the smart factory.

DDM happens along the vertical integration path, whereby the design of a product is passed on in digital form to the suppliers, be it in total or in components, and each supplier adds its specific data in order to produce its component. In the end, the data ...

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