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Serving dynamic markets - new manufacturing concepts and new products
Sussessful companies of the future will have to incorporate the greatest closeness to customers and an extreme ability to react promptly. Such attributes aquire new approaches to company organization. In order to cope with a turbulent environment, the principle of self organization offers promising features to optimize internal and external relations. The key functions of a manufacturing company can be structured according to six levels that combine a reduction of complexity with a holistic approach, leading to a 'Fractal Company'. New products are another key factor of future success. One promising field of application is the service area. Service robots will strongly affect future society. General characteristics of service robots and potential fields of application, on a short to long term time scale, are lined out. First demonstration examples already being available, considerable further development of technology is nesessary.