Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM)

CIM – Computer Integrated Manufacturing is the approach in manufacturing for using computers to control the entire production process course.

The concept of CIM – Computer Integrated Manufacturing was conceptualized by Dr. Joseph Harrington in his book in the year 1974.

The CIM covers all the processes which are required to convert the customer requirements into output as per customers’ needs. According to U.S. National Research incorporating CIM into our process increases total productivity by 40-70 Percent.CIM decreases design cost by 15-20 Percent. It also reduces lead time by 20 – 60 percent and also cuts down work in progress by 30-60 Percent.

CIM process starts with product designing and ends with product sales.

CIM integration helps processes with information transfer with each other and initiate actions. Benefits of CIM are: Manufacturing can be faster and less error-prone as human intervention is minimal and computers take over the charge, the main advantage is the ability to create automated manufacturing processes. CIM relies mainly on closed-loop control processes, based on real-time input from sensors. This is also known as a flexible design and manufacturing process.

Computer-integrated manufacturing is implemented in the aviation, automotive, space and shipbuilding industries. The concept of “Computer Integrated Manufacturing” is not only a way of manufacturing but also a computer-automated system, where each engineering, production, marketing, and support functions of a manufacturing enterprise are planned efficiently.

In a CIM system, all the functional areas like designing, analysis, planning, purchasing, cost accounting, inventory control, and distribution are connected through the computer with factory floor functions such as materials handling and management, providing direct control and monitoring of all the operations.

As a method of manufacturing, three components distinguish CIM from other manufacturing methodologies:

The Components that distinguish CIM from other Manufacturing methodology’s are:

  • Means for data storage, Data retrieval, Data manipulation and the way it is presented
  • Mechanisms for sensing state and modifying processes.
  • Algorithms used for uniting the data processing component with the sensor/modification component.

CIM is a model of implementation of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in manufacturing. CIM implies that there are at least two computers involved in exchanging information, e.g. the micro-controller and the controller of an arm robot.

Parameters to be considered while incorporating CIM implementation in manufacturing are the production volume, the experience of the company or personnel to make the integration, the level of the integration into the product itself and the integration of the production processes.

CIM is useful where a high level of ICT is used in the facility, such as CAD/CAM systems, the availability of process planning and its data.