App. B—Commissioned Background Papers
AS a result of intensifying market pressures, there have been sharply increased efforts in recent years to improve the cost competitiveness of manu- facturing operations devoted to a limited variety of products required in
volumes ranging from relatively small to moderate. most small and intermediate manufacturing plants as
needs are dominant in as even in large plants
and instrumentation capabilities.
These permit the utilization of replaceable
programmed instructions in combination with given equipment to turn out varying amounts with little or no operator requirements.
programmable controls to enable of a succession of different parts
In order to help clarify the broad potentials of the resulting revolution in manufacturing technology which will be unfolding with accelerating rapidity
over the next decade, it may being generated as a result.
be useful to illustrate the interconnected Increasingly, the process will begin with
aided design (CAD), with engineers developing new designs on the screen of a terminal by specifying certain points on the screen and tapping instructions concerning the desired shapes and dimensions of the configurations to be drawn
The key point to
the design shown on model of all of its
the screen features.
understand is that in the course of projecting the computer is storing a detailed mathematical
It then becomes possible to use this
definition of the dimensions and in computer programs to generate
configurations of the designed part such manufacturing requirements as:
a schedule of the sequence of machines to be used in producing the part;
specific operating instructions for each machine as well as identification of the tools required to perform such operations;
dimensional criteria for testing conformance of the finished part with design requirements;
production schedules specifying individual machine assignments to accord with estimated machining time required for each part and with previously scheduled machine loadings as well as delivery dates;
estimates of the unit cost of each operation, including the wages of the operator;
estimates of total unit costs of producing specified products may be used to determine bids for contracts; and