Chapter: Mechanical : Computer Integrated Manufacturing : Components of CIM

CIM system

Computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM) is the manufacturing approach of using computers to control the entire production process.

CIM system


Computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM) is the manufacturing approach of using computers to control the entire production process. This integration allows individual processes to exchange information with each other and initiate actions. Through the integration of computers, manufacturing can be faster and less error-prone, although the main advantage is the ability to create automated manufacturing processes. Typically CIM relies on closed-loop control processes, based on real-time input from sensors. It is also known as flexible design and manufacturing.


A computer-integrated manufacturing system is not the same as a "lights-out" factory, which would run completely independent of human intervention, although it is a big step in that direction. Part of the system involves flexible manufacturing, where the factory can be quickly modified to produce different products, or where the volume of products can be changed quickly with the aid of computers. Some or all of the following subsystems may be found in a CIM operation:


Computer integrated manufacturing(CIM) is a broad term covering all technologies and soft automation used to manage the resources for cost effective production of tangible goods.


§  Integration capital, human, technology and equipment


§  CIM which orchestrates the factors of production and its management.


§  CIM is being projected as a panacea for Discrete manufacturing type of industry, which produces 40% of all goods.


“CIM is not applying computers to the design of the products of the company. That is computer aided design (CAD)! It is not using them as tools for part and assembly analysis. That is computer aided engineering (CAE)! It is not using computers to aid the development of part programs to drive machine tools. That is computer aided manufacturing (CAM)!


It is not materials requirement planning (MRP) or just-in-time (JIT) or any other method of developing the production schedule. It is not automated identification, data collection, or data acquisition. It is not simulation or modeling of any materials handling or robots or anything else like that. Taken by themselves, they are the application of computer technology to the process of manufacturing. But taken by themselves they only crate the islands of automation.”


Definition of CIM:


It describes integrated applications of computers in manufacturing. A number of observers have attempted to refine its meaning:


One needs to think of CIM as a computer system in which the peripherals, instead of


being printers, plotters, terminals and memory disks are robots, machine tools and other processing equipment. It is a little noisier and a little messier, but it’s basically a computer



CIM is a management philosophy, not a turnkey computer product. It is a philosophy crucial to the survival of most manufacturers because it provides the levels of product design and production control and shop flexibility to compete in future domestic and international markets.


CIM is an opportunity for realigning your two most fundamental resources: people


and technology. CIM is a lot more than the integration of mechanical, electrical, and even informational systems. It’s an understanding of the new way to manage.

“CIM is the integration of the total manufacturing enterprise through the use of


integrated systems and data communications coupled with new managerial philosophies that improve organizational and personnel efficiency.”



Concept or Technology

“Some people view CIM as a concept, while others merely as a technology. It is actually both. A good analogy of CIM is man, for what we mean by the word man


presupposes both the mind and the body. Similarly, CIM represents both the concept and the technology. The concept leads to the technology which, in turn, broadens the concept.”

The meaning and origin of CIM


The CIM will be used to mean the integration of business, engineering, manufacturing and management information that spans company functions from marketing to product distribution.

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