The 2017 World Mass Customization & Personalization Conference (MCPC 2017)

Customization 4.0: Elevating Mass Customization to a New Level


Mass customization and personalization (MCP) strategies aim to profit from the fact that people are different. Their objective is to turn customer heterogeneities into opportunities, hence addressing “long tail” business models. The objective of mass customization is to provide goods and services that best serve individual customers’ needs with near mass production efficiency.

But mass customization can go far beyond the sheer individualization of products. The MCPC 2017 wants to stimulate research and practice that see MCP as an opportunity to extend or even revolutionize current business models. The current trends of Industrie 4.0, digital manufacturing, and the rise of smart products allow for a fresh perspective on MCP: Customization 4.0.

 ELSE Corp, a Virtual Retail company

ELSE Corp the new logo with TM

PRESENTS its project:

The Future of Footwear: From Mass Customization to Factory on Demand

Sessions: MCPC Success Factors


We introduced a streamlined vision for the future of the footwear industry, based on an innovative approach to the industrial processes related to mass customization in the fashion & footwear industry: “Virtual Retail”. Incorporating Virtual Retail into Industry 4.0, lead to the seamless integration of industrial 3D CAD into the on-demand, hybrid production of mass customized footwear products. A pivotal case of open innovation, it was a joint project between ELSE Corp; Atom Lab; and Shoemaster UK. A proof-of-concept integration project was realised and a live demo presented at SIMAC Tanning Tech 2017. The nine-step Factory on Demand combined 3D CAD design, Cloud-based 3D Product Customization and the robotized, just-in-time, on-demand and hybrid manufacturing of footwear through a semi-automated and fully traceable production life-cycle, starting on the Cloud and managed by a flexible industrial workflow. The presentation primarily focusses on the first step in the cycle: ELSE Corp’s Virtual 3D Commerce platform. Through a 3D Product Configurator, based on industrial 3D CAD product data and shoelast meta-data, the visitors could customize and order an individualized pair of shoes. After this, custom orders or Customized Hybrid Manufacturing Orders, generated-in-real-time and structured to be fully compatible with any manufacturing OS or ERP system for traditional and digital manufacturing, were sent automatically via ELSE Corp’s cloud based manufacturing 4.0 middleware (ELSE-ware) to the next step in the cycle where the just-in-time, hybrid production of the shoes began. ELSE Corp is also working on a Machine Learning based, patent pending method of advanced foot scan and shoelast comparison to determine the “best fit” product for a customer. Through the described project we were able to ascertain the benefits to all stakeholders involved, and confirm the viability of this project in bringing a sustainable solution that provides shared value across the board.

ELSE Corp's CEO Andrey Golub at the Virtual Shop at SIMAC 2017

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