Ahmad K Elshennawy, George F Schrader
A manufacturing system encompasses a number of activities, each with some input parameters or factors. A system has an output that is the result of converting or processing factors of input into a useful output of some value. By this definition, manufacturing is a system of input factors that primarily include material, manpower, and machines that go through a certain sequence of activities or processes to convert them into tangible items or products. Continuous processes are found in oil refineries, food processing plants, or chemical processing operations and involve the continuous physical flow of product. Manufacturing cells or cellular manufacturing systems are used to manufacture groups or families of products. Computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM) systems employ the computational power of computers, the flexibility of NC machines, and an automated material handling system to manufacture products in a medium range of production volume, product variety, and configurations. Flexible manufacturing system (FMS) is capable of producing varieties of parts or products having similar design or manufacturing characteristics, through different routings among different processing or machining stations. Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM). CAM refers to the use of computers in the different functions of production planning and control. CAM includes the use of NC machines, robots, and other automated systems for the manufacture of products. It also includes computer-aided process planning (CAPP), group technology (GT), production scheduling, and manufacturing flow analysis. Customer satisfaction and the pursuit of perfection in the design and manufacture of products in a shorter time are among many driving forces for emerging manufacturing technologies.
By Gary Conner
By George N Bullen FSME