There is a greater awareness of preferences, choices, and customization among customers. This has posed a great challenge to the industries at large. Trans National Corporations' (TNC's) producing at large scale find it very hard to break their production run and set their machines for new orders as it is rarely economically feasible for them. However, the cutthroat competition among competitors have forced production engineers and supervisors to come up with new and innovative technologies to produce customized products on a mass scale.
Computer and IT Technology, artificial intelligence, and flexible production lines driven by innovation have led to the possibility of mass customization. The idea is that industry should produce what is demanded and not what it expects to be demanded. For that to happen practically, times required to change jobs have to be reduced.
In printing industry machine operators are averse to short run jobs, as setting time for a new job is significant. A new job setting requires mainly cleaning, changing blankets, making printing plates, setting color, and supplying logistics- right sizes and colors of paper/board and ink respectively. One critical step is taking the old ink out, cleaning the fountain roller on top of color units, and again filling them up with new inks. Sometimes this may take more than 15 minutes, provided each crewmember is available at each color unit. ...Show more