The manufacturing business is notoriously competitive, and more often than not, smaller businesses just can't compete with the automated production lines of multi-national corporations. The European Union (EU) thinks that's a shame, and the Factory-in-a-Day initiative is their solution to this inequity.
The idea is to have a ready, waiting robotic factory that can be summoned at the drop of a hat and deployed in just 24 hours. Small and medium-sized businesses will be able to lease the robots and automate their assembly lines, increasing profit margins and productivity. Customer-specific parts would be 3D-printed overnight, replacing generic robotic grippers where needed.
The highest hurdles standing in the project's way are related to just how customizable the assembly line will have to be. Usually robotic assembly lines are designed over the course of months to do one job in the most efficient way possible. These new pop-up factories will have to be capable of handling infinite designs and processes just as efficiently.
Ultimately the forces behind the Factory-in-a-Day believe that certain jobs will have to remain in human hands. All told, the EU wants the new factories up and running in the next four years.