A holistic approach to computer integrated manufacturing architecture and systems design
This work addresses the problem of finding an improved solution to Computer Integrated Manufacturing (ClM) Architecture and Systems Design. The current approaches are shown to be difficult to understand and use, over complex. In spite of their complexity of approach they lack comprehensiveness and omit many factors and dimensions considered essential for success in today's competitive and often global market place. A new approach to ClM Architecture and Systems Design is presented which offers a simpler, more flexible and more robust format for defining a particular ClM System within a general architectural framework. At the same time this new approach is designed to offer a comprehensive and holistic solution. The research work involved the investigation of current approaches and research and development initiatives focusing particularly on the CIM-OSA and GRAI Integrated methodologies in the field of ClM Architecture. The strengths and weaknesses of the various approaches are examined. Developments in other related fields including manufacturing systems, manufacturing management, information technology and systems generally have been investigated regarding their relevance and possible contribution to an improved solution. The author has built on his practical experience in creating, designing and managing the implementation of a global CIM system. The authors work on several publicly funded collaborative research and development projects relevant to the problem area is described. These include CIM-OSA, IMOCIM and TIQS projects. In the latter two projects the author was instrumental in developing the methodological approach based on a systems approach to business processes in connection with the design of quality and manufacturing systems. Both of these projects have contributed to this work. The author has also participated in the global IMS programme as a rapporteur for the European Commission and this helped to provide a global perspective on the problems of manufacturing companies as they attempt to compete in a world wide market place. The results of this work provide the basis for a radically improved approach to ClM Architecture and Systems Design based on the holistic view of an enterprise. The approach developed supports the business process view of an enterprise; addresses the people and organisational aspects; leads to ClM solutions focused on meeting enterprise goals; and is able to deal with a significantly increased scope and complexity compared with existing methods yet is easily understood and more simple to simple to apply than current approaches.