Computerized Elements of the CIM System
There are nine major computerized elements of CIM system:
- Product Design
- Manufacturing Engineering
- Factory Automation Hardware
- Information Management
Computer-integrated machines and automation systems in manufacturing goods are a matter of reference for computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM). CIM uses a range of innovations, such as CAD and CAM, to create an error-free production process that eliminates quality issues and automates repetitive tasks. The mechanical elements of the CIM system improve manufacturing speed and automate the production process with real-time sensors and closed-loop control systems. It has significant usage in vehicles, aircraft, space, and shipbuilding.
What exactly is CIM?
CIM is the information technology architecture for integrated engineering, marketing, and production functions. In the broadest sense, CIM combines all corporate operations, from the retailer to the end user.
To be successful in a global environment, manufacturing engineers must meet the following CIM objectives:
- Reduce the product’s price.
- Reduce the amount of waste generated.
- Enhance the standard of excellence.
Increase production versatility to gain an immediate and quick response to:
- Changes to the product
- Changes in production
- Changes in the process
- Changes in equipment
- Personnel changes
Computer-Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) has a long and illustrious history.
CIM is regarded as a natural progression of CAD/CAM technology, which developed from the convergence of CAD and CAM. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, USA) is credited with pioneering CAD and CAM development.
The Numerical Control (NC), demonstrated at MIT in 1952, was the first significant advancement in computer control. Early numeric control systems were all hardwired, and they were designed with small components or with embedded chips of the first generation. Manufacturing engineers have begun to use the CIM system for inventory control, demand forecasting, and PPC, among others.
The marketing division identifies the need for a product. The marketing department also decides the specifications of the product, the projection of manufacturing quantities, and the strategy for marketing the product. Marketing also works out the manufacturing costs to assess the economic viability of the product.
The company’s design department establishes the initial database for producing a proposed product. In a computerized element of a CIM system, this is accomplished through activities such as geometric modelling and computer-aided design while considering the product requirements and concepts generated by the creativity of the design engineer. Configuration management is an important activity in many designs. Complex designs are usually carried out by several teams working simultaneously, often in different parts of the world. The design process is constrained by the costs incurred in actual production and by the capabilities of the available production equipment and processes. The design process creates the database required to manufacture the part.
The planning department takes the database established by the design department and enriches it with production data and information to produce a plan for the production of the product. Planning involves several subsystems dealing with materials, facility, process, tools, workforce, capacity, scheduling, outsourcing, assembly, inspection, logistics, etc. In a computerized element of CIM system, this planning process should be constrained by the production costs and the production equipment and process capability to generate an optimized plan.
The purchase department is responsible for placing the purchase order and following up to ensure quality in the production process of the vendor, receiving the items, arranging for inspection and supplying the items to the stores or arranging timely delivery depending on the production schedule for eventual supply to manufacture and assembly.
Manufacturing Engineering is the activity of carrying out the production of a product, involving further enrichment of the database with performance data and information about the production equipment and processes. A computerized CIM system requires activities like CNC programming, simulation, and computer-aided scheduling of the production activities.
This should include online dynamic scheduling and control based on the real-time performance of the equipment and processes to assure continuous production activity. The need to meet fluctuating market demand often requires the manufacturing system to be flexible and agile.
Factory Automation Hardware:
Factory automation equipment further enriches the database with equipment and process data, resident either in the operator or the equipment to carry out the production process. The CIM system consists of computer-controlled process machinery such as CNC machine tools, flexible manufacturing systems (FMS), computer-controlled robots, material handling systems, computer-controlled assembly systems, flexibly automated inspection systems, etc.
Warehousing is the function involving the storage and retrieval of raw materials, components, and finished goods and the shipment of items. Logistics and supply chain management is essential in today’s complex outsourcing scenario and the need for a just-in-time supply of components and subsystems.
Finance deals with the resources of money. Planning of investment, working capital, cash flow control, the realization of receipts, accounting, and allocation of funds are the primary tasks of the finance departments.
Information management is perhaps one of the crucial tasks in a computerized element of a CIM system. This involves master production scheduling, database management, communication, manufacturing systems integration, and management information systems. It can be seen that CIM technology ties together all the manufacturing and related functions in a company. Implementation of CIM technology thus involves essential integration of all the enterprise’s activities.
The essential components of the computerized elements of CIM system are:
The critical components of the computerized elements of the CIM system are
- Mechanisms for data storage, recovery, control, and presentation
- Efficient sensors for current state sensing and process modification
- Algorithms for data analysis
CIM and Automation
Automation is a technology that applies to the implementation, operation, and control of mechanical, electronic, and computer systems. CIM works to provide computer support, monitoring, and high-level integrated automation for both production and other industries.
Automation addresses production-related physical activity. The physical activity covers production processing, assembly, material management, and product inspections. During the production process, these activities come into close contact with the material.
What Are the Advantages of Using CIM?
Computer-integrated manufacturing’s only purpose is to simplify production processes, resulting in the following advantages:
- Lower labour expenses—both direct and indirect labour costs—are lower.
- More scheduling flexibility
- Less downtime
- Maintaining proper inventory levels
The primary aim is to achieve maximum efficiency by reducing the gaps limiting production and negatively impacting the bottom line. CIM is also critical for collecting valuable, real-time data from the factory floor. CIM, for example, may track the operational performance of critical equipment to improve efficiency.
The most significant benefit of CIM, in my opinion, is the boost in production capacity it provides. Manufacturing companies can go from concept to completion fast, allowing them to create more in less time, improving customer retention and recruiting new customers.
The Benefits of Automation
The following are some of the most important reasons to automate:
Automation of manufacturing activities has the potential to boost labour productivity. This translates to more production per hour of effort. Automation achieves higher production rates (output per hour) than manual tasks.Labour expenses have been steadily rising in the world’s industrialized societies. As a result, increased investment in automated equipment to replace manual tasks has become economically acceptable. Because machines can create higher output rates, corporate executives are forced to replace machines for human labour because automation results in a lower price per unit of goods.
The high cost of labor:
Labor expenses have been steadily rising the world’s industrialized societies. As a result, increased investment in automated equipment to replace manual tasks has become economically acceptable. Because machines can create higher output rates, corporate executives are forced to replace machines for human labour because automation results in a cheaper price per unit of goods.
There has been a labour shortage in several sophisticated countries. Labour shortages also encourage the advancement of automation as a job alternative.
The trend of labor toward the service sector:
This tendency has been particularly noticeable in developed countries. Manufacturing employed around 20% of the workers in the first round of 1986. This figure was 30 percent in 1947. Some estimates put the proportion as low as 2% by 2000. Indeed, some of this transition is due to the automation of production employment.
Government employment has grown at the federal, state, and municipal levels, absorbing a portion of the labour market that would otherwise have gone into manufacturing. In addition, industrial employment has a reputation for being repetitive, degrading, and filthy. As a result of this viewpoint, many have sought employment in the economy’s service sector. This trend has been especially prevalent in advanced countries.
In first-round 1986, the proportion of the workforce employed in manufacturing stood at about 20%. In 1947, this percentage was 30%. By 2000, some estimates put the figure as low as 2%. Indeed, automation of production jobs has caused some of this shift. The growth of government employment at the federal, state, and local levels has consumed a particular share of the labour market, which might otherwise have gone into manufacturing. Also, people have tended to view factory work as tedious, demeaning, and dirty. This view has caused them to seek employment in the economy’s service sector.
Automating the operation and moving the operator from active involvement to a supervising position makes work safer. With the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) in 1970, worker safety and physical well-being became a national goal. It has also acted as a catalyst for automation.
High cost of raw materials:
Due to the high cost of raw resources in production, increased efficiency in their use is required. One of the advantages of automation is the minimization of scrap.
Improvement in product quality:
Automated operations generate components more quickly than human processes, but they also produce more consistent parts and correspond to quality criteria.
Reduced manufacturing lead time:
Automation helps the producer minimize the time between client order and product delivery. This provides the manufacturer with a competitive advantage in fostering excellent customer service.
Reduction of in-process inventory:
Holding large quantities of work-in-process inventory comes at a substantial cost to the producer since it ties up capital. In-process inventory is worthless. It serves no purpose in raw material stock or completed product inventory. As a result, it is in the manufacturer’s best interest to keep work-in-progress to a minimum. Automation helps achieve this aim by minimizing the amount of time a work part spends in production.
The high cost of failing to automate
Automating a manufacturing operation provides a considerable competitive advantage. The benefit is difficult to establish on a company’s project permission form. Automation benefits are frequently observed in intangible and unexpected ways, such as more excellent quality, higher sales, better employee relations, and a better business image. Companies who do not automate are likely to fall behind their competitors in terms of consumers, workers, and the general public.
These elements combine to make industrial automation a viable and appealing alternative to human manufacturing processes.
What are the CIM Challenges?
Computers are vulnerable to damage, particularly in an industrial context. For a business that relies primarily on computers keeping functioning, the consequences of computer failure can be disastrous, resulting in:
- Long periods of shutdowns
- Idle employees
- Reduced output
- Prolonged lead times
- Unsatisfied customers
- Company’s reputation harm
- Market share loss
When CIM is integrated, it is in charge of the whole manufacturing process. With so much relying on its functioning, it is surprising that so many industrial companies fail to invest in proper protection for what is unquestionably a capital asset.
For example, to safeguard CIM processes, specifically engineered environmental computer cabinets are widely available. They protect computers from external factors, including dust, debris, spills, and even forklift trucks, maybe if workers mistakenly reverse into a computer crucial to a production operation.
Another essential issue confronting CIM is a skills shortage. Many manufacturing companies lack experienced specialists to run the critical CIM systems. CIM has been criticized in certain areas for creating employment losses. It produces additional employment, but there is a skills shortage among the present manufacturing workers, complicating matters significantly.
Experiencing previously stated, CIM provides a chance to upskill the current industrial workforce. Finally, CIM may assist industrial plants in two ways:
- 1) by enhancing the entire manufacturing process; and
- 2) by strengthening the present workforce’s skill set.
Were you considering incorporating computers on the factory floor? Do not miss out on this article, which will teach you all you need to know about installing computer programs in your company.
What Are the Benefits of a Computerized Manufacturing System?
Computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM) is a software system that integrates numerous business activities, including automatic assignment and reporting of factory floor operations using machine and material handling equipment sensors and software. Design, buying, inventory, shop floor control, material needs planning, customer order management, and cost accounting are all covered by CIM in a manufacturing operation. Advantages include more minor inaccuracy, faster processing, more flexibility, and a high degree of integration.
CIM systems demand more significant levels of data fidelity to function correctly. Once components, bills of material, inventory, and operational data have reached a high degree of accuracy, CIM can conduct functions with a minimum of human interaction and then automatically report on the outcomes. Humans are still necessary to monitor systems. However, removing human error in many assignments and reporting activities on factory floor operations significantly decreases the mistake rate.
In a CIM environment, assignment and reporting are automatically done without delay in people-based transactions. Depending on the environment, this increased speed enables procedures to be finished as soon as the previous job is completed, with no lag time. As a result, CIM settings minimize the time required for manufacturing, fabrication, and assembly, allowing for a faster flow of goods to consumers and higher capacity.
Changes to various processes may also be made more rapidly after allocating operations and reporting in a CIM system. CIM systems are entirely paperless, removing any impediments to modifying procedures. This adaptability, along with the speed with which it may be carried out, enables businesses to respond swiftly to market conditions and revert to earlier settings when they change.
Non-CIM circumstances do not include factory floor activities; manufacturing processes and materials must be reported by people who complete transactions. CIM provides integration that allows for the flexibility, speed, and error reduction needed to compete and lead in marketplaces. Integrating factory floor operations with business software frees people to do higher-value jobs for their organizations.
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