January 20, 2004

Manufacturing Science Fiction Turned to Science Fact

Everybody knows that science fiction is influencing a number of fields. What children read in stories is remembered and turned into research projects a decade later. All sorts of neat and interesting things are coming out of the hard work of scientists that were inspired by the buck rogers of decades ago authors.

I just tripped across the manufacturing version.

My journey started at a Small Business Trends article on holonics, a neat technology in itself which holds the promise of greatly reducing international outsourcing in manufacturing, recreating a local geographic advantage.

I had never heard of holonics so I googled and found it is just one instance of a vast project called Intelligent Manufacturing Systems (IMS). This seems to be the international hub of research and development for manufacturing. Some of it is pretty prosaic, like Music XML. Others are high in the gee whiz factor like Holonic Manufacturing Systems (HMS) or HIPARMS.

The membership of this consortium is huge, in the hundreds and stretches all over the 1st world with an open entry policy for new entrants from anywhere. It's very neat stuff in all and neatly contradicts the conventional image of the great age of manufacturing innovation being in the past.

Posted by TMLutas at January 20, 2004 02:21 AM