Mass Customization in The Apparel Industry: The Use of a Computer-Aided Design on Flexible Manufacturing Strategy

Flexible Manufacturing Systems (FMS) have been in use now for a few decades, and today span a very wide range of industries, including the textile industry. Beginning as early as the 1980’s, there were as many as 25-30 FMS in The US alone. Not coincidentally, the introduction of the personal computer took place just a few years before, in 1979. With the advent of computers – and of software – industries such as the apparel industry have seen a revolution in the way garments are designed and manufactured today attaining both the seemingly mutually exclusive goals of customization, and mass production. This manuscript focuses on the benefits of computer software, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), and conducted survey toward the existing literature for the state of the art in CAD used in the apparel industry. This is to enable manufacturers to archieve the competitive advantages of an FMS that synthesizes customization and mass-production into mass-customization.

Keywords: CAD, FMS, mass production, mass customization, apparel industry

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