Mass Customization and Sustainability
The group vision is to define and research a new production paradigm, Sustainable Mass-Customization, presenting Customization as one of the main driving forces behind the future success of Sustainability. Nowadays, companies still fail to profit from mass-customization because of many main factors, but the fact is that manufacturing is growing beyond the economic context, into a social and ecological phenomenon, both from the side of the end-user as from the side of governments whom, guided by increased customer eco-consciousness, are expected to further introduce eco-taxes, motivating companies to move towards sustainable manufacturing, to be reactive towards customer needs and wishes, and proactive towards ecological and environmental impact. This fact still faces the absence of proper solutions that we face researching both design tools for MC product development and mannufacturing and a proper assessment model to evaluate those products’ impact.
The group has consistent experience in the field of 3D simulation, which offers the possibility to create a virtual environment where to test performances and different behaviours starting from single manufacturing machines to complex facilities. 3D simulation is a tools meant to test plants layout, to manage scheduling, times, resources, queues, to analyze collisions and kinematics. For Manufacturing companies, the use of 3D models and wide use of simulation techniques may lead to strong advantaged in the design, use, maintenance, marketing and management of a manufacturing machine.
Networking for innovation
Thanks to a worldwide net of contacts with experts, scientists, researchers and companies, iCIMSI allows innovation seekers to meet innovation and knowledge potential suppliers for a common development of new solutions and investigation of state-of-the-art topics among a wide set of sectors and contexts. Manifold are the triggers of the process: single entities (usually companies) seeking for innovative solutions apply for support to the Institute; sometimes the Institute itself acts as initiator, namely “pushing” innovation topics in selected industry contexts. All the required competences for accomplishing the envisaged innovation are selected both within SUPSI and in our worldwide network of contacts. Proper initiatives (projects, thematic networks, ventures, …) are thus planned, set up and effectively managed for pursuing the innovation goals. International visibility in high-level both scientific and industrial environments is pursued through proper dissemination initiatives; knowledge sharing and knowledge creation is assured also beyond single project completion. Projects driving to effective results are finally managed through exploitation initiatives driven by the experience.
Supply Chain and Operations Management
According to APICS Dictionary the Supply Chain management is defined as "design, planning, execution, control, and monitoring of supply chain activities with the objective of creating net value, building a competitive infrastructure, leveraging worldwide logistics, synchronizing supply with demand, and measuring performance globally." Nowadays companies should act on global marketplace, both considering supply and demand. Thus, operations and supply chain management are becoming more and more important as well as complex, requiring continuous efforts for improvement and innovation. This trend is magnified by the advent of new paradigms, such as Sustainable Development and Mass Customisation, which offer new opportunities but also raise serious challenges, asking for the “optimization” of more complex systems using multi-criteria performance evaluation. The responses to these new challenges are developed and evaluated by ICIMSI, by itself and thank to the collaboration with its network of contacts. The research fields touch the various aspects of value network design, creation and management, such as:
- collaborative networks models (virtual enterprise, open innovation, non-hierarchical networks, etc.)
- new knowledge management and sharing tool for ensuring effective collaboration
- incentive and governance of collaborative network
- “traditional” supply chain analysis, modelling and improvement