Methodologies for CIM systems integration in small batch manufacturing
thesisposted on 27.09.2012, 10:28 by Andrew N. Walton
This thesis is concerned with identifying the problems and constraints faced by small batch manufacturing companies during the implementation of Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM). The main aim of this work is to recommend generic solutions to these problems with particular regard to those constraints arising because of the need for ClM systems integration involving both new and existing systems and procedures. The work has involved the application of modern computer technologies, including suitable hardware and software tools, in an industrial environment. Since the research has been undertaken with particular emphasis on the industrial implementor's viewpoint, it is supported by the results of a two phased implementation of computer based control systems within the machine shop of a manufacturing company. This involved the specific implementation of a Distributed Numerical Control system on a single machine in a group technology cell of machines followed by the evolution of this system into Cell and Machine Management Systems to provide a comprehensive decision support and information distribution facility for the foremen and uperators within the cell. The work also required the integration of these systems with existing Factory level manufacturing control and CADCAM functions. Alternative approaches have been investigated which may have been applicable under differing conditions and the implications that this specific work has for CIM systems integration in small batch manufacturing companies evaluated with regard not only to the users within an industrial company but also the systems suppliers external to the company. The work has resulted in certain generic contributions to knowledge by complementing ClM systems integration research with regard to problems encountered; cost implications; the use of appropriate methodologies including the role of emerging international standard methods, tools and technologies and also the importance of 'human integration' when implementing CIM systems in a real industrial situation.
- Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering