Microfactories -A New Methodology for Sustainable Manufacturing-
Fine Manufacturing Systems Research Group, Advanced Manufacturing Research Institute, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Namiki 1-2-1, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8564, Japan
The microfactory concept advocates miniaturizing production equipment and systems to match product dimensions. This offers advantages environmentally by minimizing the physical factory footprint, economically by cutting investment and running costs, technically by refining machinery specifications, and personnel-wise by minimizing the need for specialized skills. Introducing a paradigm shift in manufacturing, the microfactory arose in the early 1990s, and has enjoyed significant advances through different sectors and diversified approaches targeting practical manufacturing applications. This paper discusses the microfactory concept and significance, its history, the range of potential applications, and some of the advances that have been made since the concept’s inception. It also suggests practices and applications in sustainable manufacturing for the future.
-  N. Kawahara, T. Suto, T. Hirano, Y. Ishikawa, T. Kitahara, N. Ooyama, and T. Ataka, “Microfactories,” Microsystem Technologies, Vol.3, No.2, pp. 37-41, 1997.
-  T. Kitahara, K. Ashida, M. Tanaka, Y. Ishikawa, N. Ooyama, and Y. Nakazawa, “Microfactory and Microlathe,” Proc. Int. Workshop on Microfactories 1998, pp. 1-8, 1998.
-  K. Ashida, N. Mishima, H. Maekawa, T. Tanikawa, K. Kaneko, andM. Tanaka, “Development of desktop machining Microfactory,” Proc. J-USA Symposium on Flexible Automation, pp. 175-178, 2000.
-  Y. Okazaki and T. Kitahara, “NC microlathe to machine microparts,” Proc. 2000 ASPE Annual Meeting, pp. 575-578, 2000.
-  H. Tsuneda and K. Koike, ““Desk Top Factory”: for next generation Manufacturing,” Technical Review of Sankyo, Vol.12, No.1, pp. 42-46, 2003 (in Japanese).
-  H. Ogawa, “Indispensable Technologies for Microassembly,” Proc. 2nd Int. Workshop on Microfactories, pp. 103-106, 2000.
-  T. Kurita, S. Watanabe, and M. Hattori, “Development of hybrid micro machine tool,” Proc. Second Int. Symposium on Environment Conscious Design and Inverse Manufacturing, pp. 797-802, 2001.
-  I. Velettas, R. Clavel, and A. Codourey, “PocketFactory: A Modular and Miniature Assembly Chain Including a Clean Environment,” Proc. IWMF2006, 2006.
-  Y. Okazaki et al. “Microfactory – Concept, history and developments,” J. of Manufacturing Science and Engineering, Vol.126, pp. 837-844, 2004.
-  K. Ehmann et al., “Micromanufacturing: International Research and Development,” Springer, ISBN-10: 1402059485, 2007.
-  Y. Okazaki, M. Hiraide, and C. Endo, “Activities of DTF Research Consortium – Industrial applications of microfactory philosophy by private sectors – ,” Proc. 9th Int. Workshop on Microfactory Technology, pp. 3-8, 2009.
-  J. K. Park, “Development of micro-factory systems for the next generation – 2nd year report of the 2nd phase,” Proc. 9th Int. Workshop on Microfactory Technology, pp. 13-17, 2009.
-  http://www.dtf.ne.jp
-  O. Klemd, “Desktop Factory – New approaches for lean micro assembly,” Proc. 2007 IEEE Int. Symposium on Assembly and Manufacturing, pp. 161-165, 2007.
-  http://fabathome.org