Published By: SME
Computer and automation applications exist in manufacturing in the form of computer aided design (CAD) to islands of automation to computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM) to hard automation. Any computer or automationapplication must be a justifiable investment. To justify the purchase and installation of a computer or automation application, including hard automation, it must improve: the quality of the product; the productivity in manufacturing the product (this typically includes labor in the calculation); the quality of the work environment in manufacturing the product, and/or the development time for a new product or new model of a product. Product development time can be reduced through the application of CAD, computer aided engineering (CAE), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), and other applications. Integration of CAD through CAM and business functions can lead to CIM and manufacturing execution systems. CIM is the concept of integrating the design, engineering, manufacturing, and business functions of the enterprise to better serve the customer. CIM technologies include computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided engineering (CAE), computer-aided process planning (CAPP), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), computer numerical control (CNC), distributed numerical control (DNC), flexible manufacturing systems (FMS), robotics, automatic guided vehicle systems (AGVS), and automatic storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS). The benefits of CIM are: reduction in engineering design cost, reduction in overall lead time, increased product quality, increased capability of engineers, • increased productivity of production operations, reduction of work-in-process, and reduction of personnel costs.
By Philip D Rufe, CMfgE
By Ahmad K Elshennawy, Gamal S Weheba, PhD