Bespoke Manufacturing and the future of manufacturing


What is bespoke manufacturing?
What are the origins?
How to manage and improve your Custom Manufacturing process?

The term was derived from old English “bespeak” or to talk ‘in the name of”.
Let’s see wiki definition:
Bespoke is derived from the verb bespeak, meaning to “speak for something”.[2] The particular meaning of the verb form is first cited from 1583[3] and given in the Oxford English Dictionary: “to speak for, to arrange for, engage beforehand: to ‘order’ (goods).” The adjective “bespoken” means “ordered, commissioned, arranged for” and is first cited from 1607.[4][5]
According to Collins English Dictionary, the term is generally British English.[2] American English tends to use the word custom instead,[6] as in a custom car or custom motorcycle. Nevertheless, bespoke has seen increased usage in American English during the 21st century.[3]
In American English, the proper term is “CUSTOM”.
And the previous sentence is something that really makes us get the real necessity to erect Bespoke as a term for the 21st century.

  • Custom manufacturing

    • just listen to it and think about it. When you say custom, from today’s perspective it is more like something that goes beyond the standard. It means that you have some way of doing things and someone wishes to customize that process or product.
    • E.g. We are manufacturing standard sizes of product X, but a customer insists that we make a different size, usually with a “custom” price. Or we need a prototype and we need to find a manufacturer willing to deliver custom made parts.
    • Another example is to customize a serial product, with engravings, special printings or even different materials.
  • Another term that can be used is Tailor-made

    • and we see it as a crossing between Custom and Bespoke Manufacturing.
    • Tailor-made, in the past, was coined to bring us the feeling of knowledge about all the layers of PROCESS, not just the product as a result. It means that someone is starting from scratch trying to fulfill the vision and needs of a customer.

And where are we now?

We will take the liberty and look into the future, joining two major technological breakthroughs that are the real game-changers:

  • big data analysis
  • Machine learning combined with AI
Integrate these two in the standard tailor-made manufacturing process, and you will see where are we going.

Bespoke Manufacturing

The manufacturing process from the Bespoke perspective will be built around the customer- where each customer will represent a unique design and, as a result, a unique manufacturing experience.
Now we will introduce special AI software toolkits based on the Generative  Design Networks.
A generative adversarial network (GAN) is a class of machine learning systems. Two neural networks contest with each other in a zero-sum game framework. This technique can generate photographs that look at least superficially authentic to human observers,[1][2] having many realistic characteristics. It is a form of unsupervised learning.[3]

Just think about it. Hundreds, thousands of parameters will be used as an input into an AI GAN network that will learn from results and evolve designs until it gets the optimized result:
Your weight, height, feet, hand size, a temperature of a city where you are living, working conditions and daily routines – these will all be inputs needed for the system to develop an e.g. perfect helmet for a bike ride.
Around that principle, we will build a manufacturing process based on new, one or two layered, nanomaterials (smart materials) using different manufacturing techniques such as 3d printing, material programming, etc.
If you have 15 min please watch this TED video to gain more insights (2016):
And yes, it will scale. It is hard to imagine the infrastructure for e.g. sneakers production based on personal feet scanner – or smart wearables (human upgrades).
So it is a pretty simple concept: give a “computer” goal, set up the constraints, and it should return the best design for the requested product.
We can see the trend of more “organic” design that comes from the algorithms that are similar to the Nature evolving algorithms.

Here you can see some examples:

And, where are we now?
Currently, the coined phrase is forming roots, and it is branching through various industries: medical, food, apparel, etc. until it brings us to absolutely new ways of manufacturing.
2019. ERPAG Inc.

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