Cloud manufacturing (CMfg) is a new manufacturing paradigm developed from existing advanced manufacturing models (e.g., ASP, AM, NM, MGrid) and enterprise information technologies under the support of cloud computing, Internet of Things(IoT), virtualization and service-oriented technologies, and advanced computing technologies. It transforms manufacturing resources and manufacturing capabilities into manufacturing services, which can be managed and operated in an intelligent and unified way to enable the full sharing and circulating of manufacturing resources and manufacturing capabilities. CMfg can provide safe and reliable, high quality, cheap and on-demand manufacturing services for the whole lifecycle of manufacturing. The concept of manufacturing here refers to big manufacturing that includes the whole lifecycle of a product (e.g. design, simulation, production, test, maintenance).
The concept of Cloud manufacturing was initially proposed by the research group led by Prof. Bo Hu Li and Prof. Lin Zhang in China in 2009.   Related discussions and research were conducted hereafter, and some similar definitions (e.g. Cloud-Based Design and Manufacturing (CBDM). ) to cloud manufacturing were introduced.
Cloud manufacturing is a type of parallel, networked, and distributed system consisting of an integrated and inter-connected virtualized service pool (manufacturing cloud) of manufacturing resources and capabilities as well as capabilities of intelligent management and on-demand use of services to provide solutions for all kinds of users involved in the whole lifecycle of manufacturing.