Since the first assembly and production lines started the Industrial Revolution the word “custom” has fallen out of favor. The lure of “mass production” and the lower cost it promised was a cause célèbre. This remained true for most of the 20th century until the last few decades. Today’s improvements in manufacturing technologies, however, sparked renewed interest in custom product manufacturing.
There’s increasing competition between standard manufacturers and new, mass customizers. Industries that range from medical devices to cosmetics are establishing processes and systems that allow those manufacturers to manufacture custom made products according to a specific user’s specifications. More customers want a variety of products and mass customizers found that consumers are willing to pay more for a product if they serve those consumer’s unique requirements.
The Benefits of Standard Manufacturing
Standardization has been the gospel by which product designers have lived for most of this century. It makes sense that standardizing components streamlines the manufacturing processes, reduces delivery times, reduces products’ failure rates. Standardization has been and continues to remain a valid way to eliminate some level of risk from manufacturing processes. It helps manufacturers source commodities and components from a variety of suppliers, ensuring the products remain viable even when a specific upstream vendor fails to deliver or goes out of business.
The Rise of the Agile Production Line and Custom Manufacturing
As factories became more sophisticated, it provided manufacturers with the capabilities to produce a variety of products. Historically, retooling a production line was a long and expensive process. As the world gets figuratively smaller due to massive improvements in communication and transportation, factories have learned to make changes quickly. This means they have also learned to adapt as products and tastes evolved.
Newer technologies have enabled manufacturers to shift focus to where today, many factories can now specialize in custom products. With custom product manufacturing the production areas can accommodate a range of products with small changes to the process. This type of manufacturing relies on human as well as machine interaction to produce smaller quantities of custom made products. As factories’ techniques and manufacturing equipment have become more sophisticated, custom manufacturing now enjoys a low defect rate and ease of design or “running” changes.
With custom manufacturing capabilities it’s also possible to prototype new designs and find optimal manufacturing processes much more economically. While the cost of individual components may be more expensive, the variety, reliability, and most of all the willingness of consumers to pay a higher price for the customization of these products to justify the cost.
Your Standard and/or Custom Product Manufacturing Liaison
ITI Manufacturing specializes in custom product manufacturing. For over 45 years we have helped U.S. companies find the right offshore manufacturing solutions. We have perfected our systems to the point where we guarantee no manufacturing defects.
Our clients are secure in the knowledge we are here to promote their success during every step of the manufacturing process. Because ITI does not manufacture products for ourselves our success is 100% linked to our customer’s success.