Computer-Integrated Manufacturing

AuthorJohn Koch, Hal Kirkwood

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Computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM) is the use of computer techniques to integrate manufacturing activities. These activities encompass all functions necessary to translate customer needs into a final product. CIM starts with the development of a product concept that may exist in the marketing organization; includes product design and specification, usually the responsibility of an engineering organization; and extends through production into delivery and after-sales activities that reside in a field service or sales organization. Integration of these activities requires that accurate information be available when needed and in the format required by the person or group requesting the data. Data may come directly from the

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originating source or through an intermediate database according to Jorgensen and Krause. CIM systems have emerged as a result of the developments in manufacturing and computer technology. According to Kusiak the computer plays an important role integrating the following functional areas of a CIM system:

Part and product design. There are four phases that are crucial in part and product design. They include preliminary design, refinement, analysis, and implementation.

Tool and fixture design. Tooling engineers using computer-aided design (CAD) tools to develop the systems or fixtures that produce the parts.

Process planning. The process planner designs a plan that outlines the routes, operations, machines, and tools required. He or she also attempts to minimize cost, manufacturing time, and machine idle time while maximizing productivity and quality.

Programming of numerically controlled machines and material handling systems.

Production planning. There are two concepts used here including materials requirement planning (MRP) and machine loading and scheduling.

Machining. This is part of the actual manufacturing process, including turning, drilling, and face milling for metal removal operations.

Assembly. After they are manufactured, parts and subassemblies are put together with other parts to create a finished product or subassembly.

Maintenance. Computers can monitor, intervene, and even correct machine malfunctions as well as quality issues within manufacturing.

Quality control. This involves three steps including system design, parameter design, and tolerance design.

Inspection. This stage determines if there have been errors and quality issues during the manufacturing of the product.

Storage and retrieval. These tasks involve raw materials, work-in-process inventory, finished goods, and equipment.


The term...

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