Individualized products, resource-smart design and production, and a focus on customer value have been pointed out as three opportunities for Swedish industry to stay competitive on a globalized market. All these three opportunities can be gained by efficient design and manufacture of highly customized products. However, this requires the development and integration of the knowledge-based enabling technologies of the future as pointed out by The European Factories of the Future Research Association (EFFRA). Highly custom engineered products require an exercising of a very rich and diverse knowledge base about the products, their production and the required resources for design and manufacture. The development and implementation of systems for automated design and production preparation of customized products is a significant investment in time and money. However, our experience from industry indicates that significant efforts are required to introduce and align these kinds of systems with existing operations, legacy systems and overall state of practice. In this paper, support for system development in literature has been reviewed in combination with a survey on the state of practice in four companies regarding implementation and management of automated systems for custom engineered products. A gap has been identified and a set of areas for further research are outlined.
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