CIM’s Meaning Explained: Where Is It Used, And How?

CIM’s Meaning Explained: Where Is It Used, And How?

(CIM) or Computer-integrated manufacturing refers to the use of automation systems and computer-controlled pieces of machinery to manufacture products. The whole manufacturing process to explain CIM’s meaning can be done in this way: CIM uses both technologies like computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) and computer-aided design (CAD) to offer an error-free manufacturing process that decreases manual labor and in turn automates repetitive tasks. 

What Is CIM’s Meaning? How Is It Used?

(CIM) or Computer-integrated manufacturing as we mentioned above is a manufacturing approach that is used to offer a feel of complete automation. This is helpful because all the operations are controlled by computers instead of manual operations which need breaks and other leadership. 

CIM, how is it used?

(CIM) or Computer-integrated manufacturing is heavily used in the aviation, automotive, space and ship-building industries. The whole manufacturing process used in CIM increases the speed of the manufacturing approach by using closed-loop control processes and real-time sensors to automate the manufacturing process. 

When a manufacturing facility used CIM, there are many processes involved such as: 

  • Design that is Computer-aided
  • Manufacturing of Prototypes
  • Figuring out the ideal method for manufacturing by effectively calculating the costs and efficiently considering the production methods, storage and distribution, and volume of products. 
  • Placing orders for the necessary materials needed for manufacturing processes 
  • Designing computer-aided manufacturing of the products using the assistance of computer numerical controllers
  • Conducting quality controls at each phase of the development.
  • Performing Quality check 
  • Performing automated storage
  • Performing with the help of robots the ideal product assembly 
  • Conducting automatic distribution of products starting from the storage areas to awaiting lorries/trucks
  • Performing automated updating of logs,
  • Performing automated updating financial data and other bills in the computer system

No wonder CIM is also known for its flexible design and manufacturing! We can be flexible with the amalgamation of different applications and technologies like robotics, CAM, CAD, computer-aided engineering, manufacturing resource planning and enterprise management solutions. 

The automated systems for Computer-integrated manufacturing can also be considered as an integration of all enterprise operations that work with a common data repository.

What are the major components of CIM?

CIM not only increases manufacturing productivity, but it also offers great flexibility, quality, and responsiveness while lowering the total cost of manufacturing. How does this happen? It uses:

  • Presentation mechanisms for Data storage, retrieval and manipulation
  • Real-time sensors for sensing the current state and for more sensors for modifying processes
  • CIM also uses data processing algorithms

History of CIM:

The CIM approach was first coined in 1990 by the AMCIE consortium as the Computer Integrated Manufacturing Open System Architecture (CIMOSA). The year 1989 was a very intense year in the labor part, the companies were looking for the best way to integrate the different operational levels with the administrative ones to have greater reliability of the organization’s data. Companies were also trying to achieve it in the most effective way possible with the least possible human involvement.

Soon the (CIMOSA) or Computer Integrated Manufacturing Open System Architecture was proposed to manufacturing companies to provide an open systems architecture that specifies both enterprise modeling and enterprise integration required by CIM environments. 

The CIMOSA approach saw many comprehensive models being developed for administrative processes and the initial developments of application software, later known as ERP, were studied. 

The business value chain which is a theoretical model that allows describing the development of the activities of a business organization generating value to the final product, described and popularized by Michael Porter in his work, “Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance” (1985) found a new operational process. 

They began with the “floor” controls, infrastructures, and applications were developed that supported and managed the operational teams in the companies. 

Computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM) has now found a wide range of applications in mechanical engineering, industrial and production engineering, and electronic design automation. 

This integration allows individual processes in the manufacturing approach to exchange information with each part. The usage of computers to control the entire production process means that the whole process of manufacturing can be faster and less error-prone. This is of course thanks to the integration of computers, and not manual labor or manual quality checks. This is useful as CIM relies on closed-loop control processes as a typical format for real-time input from sensors. 

One of the most prominent people on the subject was Dr. Theodore Williams of Purdue University.

By late 1989, organizing a CIM (Computer Integrated Manufacturing) process, aimed at integrating application architecture between the administrative and operational parts of companies was growing. 

Thanks to this, the Computer Integrated Manufacturing model is still useful for new IOT applications.

The “Internet of Things (IOT)” describes the network of physical objects (things) that carry embedded sensors, software, and other technologies for the purpose of connecting and exchanging data with other devices and systems via the Internet. 

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