Computer-Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) refers to an integrated approach of manufacturing that combines different technologies and computer-controlled operations for a fully integrated manufacturing process. In today’s industrial facilities, there are many different technology systems running different parts of the manufacturing process, from engineering to production, and from quality control to financial accounting. Many of these processes are automated, running on distinct and separate technology platforms. Computer-Integrated Manufacturing organizes each of these separate components into an integrated system.
Advantages of Computer-Integrated Manufacturing
The advantages of computer integrated manufacturing are recognized across different manufacturing sectors. As it combines different types of technologies, it can lead to an increase in speed of the manufacturing process, as well as support automation. It combines different applications and technologies that are involved on the production side, such as engineering, robotics, and automation production systems, as well as the systems running the business side of a production facility, such as enterprise management solutions and resource planning platforms.
Benefits of Computer-Integrated Manufacturing
The benefits of computer integrated manufacturing include not only optimizing the production and business processes, but also providing data storage, data processing, and real time sensors. This allows for greater flexibility and control over the production process, as well ensuring a manufacturer’s ability to provide enhanced quality control and be able to quickly respond to any issues that may arise. This provides a level of responsiveness that is crucial in today’s dynamic, fast-paced business environment.
Integrated manufacturing can streamline the entire production process, leading to reduced downtime, reduced errors, and thereby reduced operational costs (both direct and indirect). In addition, it can optimize planning, purchasing, and inventory control systems, as they can be linked to each other, as well as to the systems running the production process. The data for each platform can contribute to manufacturing analytics, which can provide a wide range of insights to manufacturers to increase throughput, reduce costs, and gain transparency over their supply chain.
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With a computer integrated manufacturing system, businesses can completely automate their manufacturing facility, with all processes running under one system, communicating with each other, and providing real-time data that can lead to strategic business decisions. In addition, it can contribute to the flexibility of a facility, as the manufacturing process can be modified as needed, regarding product volumes or the production processes.
As computer integrated manufacturing can link various areas such as planning, purchasing, inventory control, design, and production, it provides managers with an added advantage of gaining comprehensive, improved control over the different components of the manufacturing process.