Logistics Research

, Volume 5, Issue 3–4, pp 113–121 | Cite as

Decentralized manufacturing systems review: challenges and outlook

  • Dimitris Mourtzis
  • Michalis Doukas


During the last three decades, the economic landscape has abandoned its local characteristics and evolved into a global and highly competitive economy. The market demands toward high product variety, the low human labor costs in specific locations, the evolution of Information and Communication Technologies, and specific social and political forces are the principal reasons toward globalization. The main trend currently outlining the development of manufacturing paradigms is the ever-increasing tendency in the direction of decentralization of manufacturing functions toward decentralized entities. This has caused a fundamental reorganization process of the manufacturing organizations in order to cope with this trend. Several critical issues rise in the control and management of such organizations. These criticalities are further compounded by the need to achieve mass customization of industrial products, as this greatly complicates the manufacturing and supply activities. Moreover, the modalities for the configuration and implementation of each of the distributed manufacturing typologies are identified. The purpose of this paper is to specify the main trends, issues, and sensitive topics that characterize the behavior and performance of these production systems. Based on this review, a discussion over existing production concepts is performed.


Decentralized manufacturing Globalization Production concepts Mass customization 



This work has been supported by the EC funded project “A Web-based Collaboration System for Mass Customization—e-CUSTOM” (260067).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory for Manufacturing Systems and Automation (LMS), Department of Mechanical Engineering and AeronauticsUniversity of PatrasPatrasGreece

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