Mass customisation has emerged as a business strategy due to an increasing market demand for individually customised products. However, as this demand has increased, so has the customer demand and legislation for products which are sustainable.
Some research, however, has questioned whether manufacturing customised products is really compatible with sustainability. It is indicated that achieving sustainability in mass customisation implies a number of challenges which are very different from those in achieving sustainability in mass production and in relation to product design, manufacturing, logistics, reuse, recycling, etc.
Some research has recently been published linking the two domains of mass customisation and sustainability. However, as customer demand for sustainability and mass customised products increases while environmental legislation at the same time becomes stricter, the interconnection between these two previously separate research areas becomes more important and calls for more research focused on this topic.
The disciplines of sustainable product design and eco-design contribute to the development and manufacturing of sustainable products, but are however generic and do not specifically address the challenges related to mass customisation. Contrarily, much research has focused on supporting mass customisation in terms of concepts and methods for product design, product architectures, IT systems, manufacturing processes, etc. However, these do not specifically take into account the challenges of sustainability. Hence there is a gap between the two research areas and closing this gap would imply benefits for mass customisers and society in general.
The objective of this special issue is to present a compilation of the current significant research within the intersection of mass customisation and sustainability. It aims at contributing in the areas of product development, analysis and production with a knowledge base of industrial applications, case stories, generalised methods and tools.
This special issue calls for original manuscripts from both academia and industry.
Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
- Sustainable product design for mass customisation
- Sustainability, modularity, product architecture and platforms for mass customisation
- Sustainability in mass customisation practices, methods and tools
- Information management in relation to sustainability and mass customisation
- Analysis of product portfolios with respect to sustainability
- Metrics for sustainability and mass customisation
- Life cycle analysis of customised products
- Sustainability in mass customisation supply chains
- Sustainability and mass customisation manufacturing
- Remanufacturing and recycling of customised products
- Case studies of significant sustainability efforts in mass customisation contexts
Submission of manuscripts: 1 May, 2013
Notification to authors: 15 September, 2013
Final versions due: 15 December, 2013