Integration of Manufacturing Resource Planning with Computer Aided Design.
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By definition, Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP II) addresses all facets of industrial business, from marketing planning through engineering to manufacturing final inspection and shipment. Computer Aided Design (CAD) is meant to assist the front end of the product life-cycle and to focus on engineering, design, and drafting-related activities. An integration of the two systems is proposed, founded on a data base level. Sample features of the integrated system include automatic part master record generation, product structure initiation and engineering change control via pictorial information. A multi-database interoperability approach is expected to develop the necessary theoretical background to support this project. The definition of a language to specify update dependencies and the communications protocol will be the means to implement the proposed integration. Eventually, a fast interpreter and the relational database system will provide the vehicle for this and future projects. It is estimated that a large number of companies already using or planning to use MRP II and CAD will beneflt substantially from such an integrated set which ensures a smooth and effective flow of information. Future plans include the establishment of more links between MRP II and CAM, CAT, and Computer Aided Process Planning (CAPP), all of them leading to the ultimate goal of using a single Computer Integrated Manufacturing System.