The constant drive towards the objectives of manufacturing commodities at ever-cheaper costs and in shorter cycle-times is universal across industries all over the world. As manufacturing technology elevates to ever-higher levels of sophistications, different names have been ascribed. With the rapid explosion of data exchanges over the internet in the past 15 years that many seemingly unimaginable business transactions and human activities have suddenly become tangible and within the reach of some consolidated integration processes.
The term 'e-Manufacturing' is thus broadly interpreted in this sense of constant drive with an embodiment of integrated applications of information technology. This sets it apart from the fashionable use of everything with an initial 'e-'. Rather, we emphasize its essential theme of cost reductions and productivity improvements in every era of manufacturing. -- C. Hsu