CIM – Mechanical Aspects. State of the Art Report by D. Gareth R. Evans (Eds.)

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By D. Gareth R. Evans (Eds.)

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The full strategic implications of CIM need to be appreciated. Entering this technological field is not simply a matter of a short-term investment in one or two discrete items of equipment but rather a long-term philosophy involving technological and organisational components which need to be carefully linked to provide support for the overall business. To be effective a CIM strategy needs to begin with a thorough analysis of the business needs and a clear plan which identifies the basis on which competitiveness will rest in the long and short term.

CIM is still being confused with the installation of a Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS) with Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGVs) and other robots. Some companies have gone further and have conceived CIM as a sophisticated scheme to provide comprehensive computer and machine-tool facilities networked together with existing systems via data management tools — a linking of CAD/CAM and MRP II via a common data structure. Some companies, such as IBM have surpassed this by considering that CIM encompasses all aspects of the business (BUN3).

With these considerations in mind the testing for the paint-shop system was carefully planned and executed to make certain that all things would function when it was time to paint the bodies. Part of the testing of the broadband cable system was done in the evaluation phase when EDS determined that the network could, at minimum, carry some message between the two computer hardware vendors, DEC and HP. The next test was to set up a series of test-beds in the plant computing facility to determine whether the network would function with the actual equipment to be later installed on the shop-floor.

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