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Overview of Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) is a management philosophy in which functions of design and

manufacturing are rationalized and coordinated using computer, communication and information technologies. CIM has the capability to largely automate flexible manufacturing by coordinating work cells, robots, automatic storage and retrieval facilities and material handling system. Simply, CIM is the use of computer systems to integrate a manufacturing enterprise. CIM provides the tools to enable the use of organizational programs such as Total Quality Management (TQM), Continuous Improvement, Concurrent Engineering, and Design for Manufacturability. The goal of CIM is to provide the computer applications and communications needed to bring about the integration that will allow a company to take advantage of these new capabilities. The CIM technologies may include Computer-aided Design (CAD), Computeraided Manufacturing (CAM), Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS), Group Technology, Robotics, Computer Numerical Control (CNC), Automated Material Handling System, and Manufacturing Resource Planning. One of the CIM elements is Computer Numerical Control (CNC). The Computer Numerical Control (CNC) is one in which the functions and motions of a machine tool are controlled by means of a prepared program containing coded alphanumeric data. CNC can control the motions of the workpiece or tool, the input parameters such as feed, depth of cut, speed, and the functions such as turning spindle on/off, turning coolant on/off. The applications of CNC include both for machine tool as well as non-machine tool areas. Next element in Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) is Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS). FMS is a manufacturing system in which there is some amount of flexibility that allows the system to react in the case of changes, whether predicted or unpredicted. There are three levels of manufacturing flexibilities, which is basic flexibilities, system flexibilities, and aggregate flexibilities. The best application of an FMS is found in the production of small sets of products like those from a mass production.

The other element in CIM is Numerical Control (NC). NC is a control of a system or device by direct input of data in the form of numbers, letters, symbols, words, or a combination of these forms. It is a principal element of computer-integrated manufacturing, particularly for controlling the operation of machine tools. NC is also essential to the operation of modern industrial robots. The two basic types of NC systems are point-to-point, in which a device is programmed to perform a series of motions with fixed starting and stopping points, and continuous-path, in which a point-to-point programmed device has sufficient memory to be aware of its former actions and their results and to act in accordance with this information. A category of automated machine tools, such as drills and lathes, that operates from instructions in a program. Numerical control (NC) machines are used in manufacturing tasks, such as milling, turning, punching and drilling. Both NC and CNC (computerized NC) are used to describe this category. The NC is only the coding to control the machine tools in the code languages for certain design. Another tool used in Computer Integrated Manufacturing is Computer Aided Design (CAD). Basically, CAD is an electronic system for designing new products or altering the existing ones. The heart of CAD is a powerful desktop computer and graphic software that allow the designer to manipulate geometric shapes. Using the design data stored in the computers memory, manufacturing engineers and other users can quickly obtain printouts of plans and specifications for a part or product. CAD cuts the cost of product development and sharply reduces the time to market for new products. Analysts can use CAD to store, retrieve, and classify data about various parts. This information is useful in creating families of parts to be manufactured by the same group of machines. Computer-aided design saves time by enabling designers to access and modify old designs quickly, rather than start from scratch. The component of CIM that deals directly with manufacturing operations is called computer-aided manufacturing (CAM). CAM systems are used to design production processes and to control machine tools and materials flow through programmable automation. A CAD/CAM system integrates the design and manufacturing function by translating final design specifications into detailed machine instructions for manufacturing an item. CAD/CAM is quicker, less error prone than humans, and eliminates duplication between engineering and

manufacturing. CAD/CAM systems allow engineers to see how the various parts of a design interact with each other without having to build a prototype. Overall, Computer Integrated Manufacturing is an umbrella term for the total integration of product design and engineering, process planning, and manufacturing by means of complex computer system. Through the integration of computers, manufacturing can be faster and less error-prone.