Date Added: Jun 2012
The Internet has facilitated the development of e-businesses using web-based services leveraging back-end database systems, inventory systems and payment processing systems. Online retail businesses can be set up in a relatively short period of time. In contrast, set-up of a manufacturing system takes much longer; the system design involves various stages from gaining an understanding of the product and its market to machine selection, layout, control logic, part flow analysis and so on. Cyber-infrastructure has the potential to revolutionize the design and operation of manufacturing systems by creating a collaborative environment distributed across a number of physical locations through web-based virtual communities, thereby simplifying and streamlining the manufacturing system design and integration.