European Consortium seeks to create new platform for design and supply of customised safe toys
Ibi, April 21th, 2016. iBUS (integrated business model for customer driven custom product supply chain) is developing a new business model, based on new developments in internet and manufacturing technologies. The model will involve end users developing new personalised products that are sold and produced locally and sustainably.
The main focus of iBUS is to drive sales for EU traditional toy and furniture manufacturers by leveraging internet based technologies, focusing on safe products, quality, design and innovation. In this new iBUS model consumers become designers, designing, customising and placing orders for their own products online in the iBUS cloud. “At the core of this new business model are children, hobbyists and independent professional designers, who can design products anywhere on-line or at their participating retailer,” said Con Sheahan, iBUS project co-ordinator, University of Limerick. “In the new iBUS model toys are designed and created by our children instead of marketed to our children.”
iBUS foresees a new role for retailers, that will see the return of local toy shops to our towns and communities. The retailers will provide in-shop Fab Labs or Maker facilities, with new manufacturing technologies such as 3D printing and manufacturing. Here users, with little or no knowledge of design techniques, will be able to design their own toys with the help of their local toy shop. Safeguards within the iBUS software platform will ensure that the products designed comply with all relevant product safety guidelines.
Ramon Flor, from the retail partner Juguettos, states “The iBUS platform constitutes a business opportunity for the distributors of traditional toys, so they can learn first-hand the tastes and trends of users, strengthen their links with the consumer and also supplement their traditional activity”.
It is the vision of iBUS to replace the current mass import of toys into the EU, with safe toys produced sustainably within Europe. The retailers will work closely with local manufacturers, which can produce locally and sustainably small volumes or even exclusive customised products, into an international supply chain, with a quick turnaround.
Con Sheahan says “iBUS will enable toy and furniture manufacturers to selectively exploit disruptive technologies such as the Internet and additive manufacturing or 3D printing to locally fulfill the demand for safe customisable products. iBUS will boost our local and national economies by revitalising local retailing and manufacturing ….
Suny Martínez, from AIJU states that “the iBUS system will allow the self-design of children’s products and their manufacture by additive manufacturing technologies, without any compromising of safety requirements. It is important to highlight, that currently home designed toys for 3D printing do not have any checks for the toy safety and this will be one of the main values of the iBUS system”.
AIJU, as European technological centre of reference in children products and additive manufacturing technologies, participates in all the tasks of the project, involving their highly specialised staff in children’s products safety, environment, pedagogy, market and product, design, Information technology, materials and additive manufacturing, 3D printing manufacturing processes.
We can highlight the presence of two Spanish toy enterprises: JUGUETTOS and Fábrica de Juguetes SLU., which will be key in the determination of the iBUS platform requirements and the sale and manufacturing of personalised toys through this platform.
The iBUS project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 646167. The content of this publication does not reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Responsibility for the information and views expressed lies entirely with the authors.
For additional information subscribe for updates at: www.h2020ibus.eu
If you are interested in joining a Special Interest Group that will influence this business model development… please contact SIG@h2020ibus.eu
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