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Because of their mutually influencing interactions, information systems and modern manufacturing systems are intertwined. They have been so integrated that information systems have become an embedded and critical component of any effective manufacturing system. The impact of the increasing focus on information permeates throughout the manufacturing life cycle, from product conceptualization, design, process planning, all the way to production, order fulfilment, and customer services. For these reasons, it is critical that we study information-based manufacturing in its entirety, crossing the traditional functional boundaries and building as much synergy between Information Systems (IS), Information Technology (IT), and manufacturing as possible. This is the motivation for this book and, to this end, the purpose of this book is threefold:
• to establish an up-to-date interdisciplinary research framework for information-based manufacturing that builds on the research foundation from IS and IT and manufacturing research;
• to develop a forward-looking research agenda for information-based manufacturing for identifying future directions for research and applications; and
• to foster a joint academic and industrial research agenda in information systems and manufacturing by identifying the greatest synergy possible between academic research and industrial practices.