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    Exploratory Workshop on the Social Impacts of Robotics

4

7. combining the design data with materials specifications and planned output, along with expected scrap rates and waste, to generate pro- curement requirements. As indicated in Figure 1, various other kinds of performance evaluation and control information may also be generated.

By tracing only one direction of such information flows, however, even the preceding impressive array of applications understates the potential benefits of

such systems.

In fact, all such flows move in both directions.

Engineers can

use them to specialists

explore the relative costs of alternative designs: Manufacturing can evaluate alternative processing sequences and machining in-

structions.

Inventory adjustments can be adapted

distribution variations.

Production

requirements

to accord with production and and manpower availabilities

can

be

adapted

to

one

another.

‘Production Scheduling - & Control

Machining

Performance .

Parts Testing

Process

Assembly

Planning ..

Procurement

Inventories

Work-in- Process

Finished

Assignments

. 1

Accounting

Figure .1:

Potential Applications of Design Data Bases

Programs cited above.

have already been developed But few plants are actually

to apply each of the possibilities utilizing many of them on a continuing

rather than an experimental basis.

Despite the clarity of the logic involved,

the development of a functioning system requires confronting very large masses of details and many alternative possibilities at most stages of defining sequential

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