Agile Manufacturing

The 1970s and 1980s brought a vision of Just in Time Systems which assumed that one would only produce or build things at the last moment. The rise of nanotechnology has briought a new vision of agile manufacturing whereby virtual teams in virtual enterprises or virtual organizations are theoretically configured on demand following the just in time approach. While rhetorically attractive the logic and practicality of this approach is questionable. The number of real experts is always limited and these experts usually have a full load of challenges. If a genuine new challenge arises, it is unlikely that large teams can qucikly be re-allocated without threatening their present commitments. The vision of agile manufacturing entails new combinations of mechanics and electronics (mechatronics) and new holonic systems.