An Integration of Manufacturing Recource Planning (MRP II) and Computer Aided Design (CAD) Based on Update Dependencies.

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The traditional, fragmented approach to increasing manufacturing efficiency has resulted in "islands of automation" in our factories. Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) is the goal of tying together these islands into a single coherent system capable of controlling an entire manufacturing operation. The technical and organizational difficulties of such a massive undertaking require a modular approach to CIM implementation, with an initial nucleus being gradually expanded by allowing interaction between it and other systems' databases. Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP II) is best positioned to serve as this nucleus. The suggested first system for integration is Computer Aided Design (CAD); the integration being centered around part specification, product structure, and engineering changes. A model of the CAD/MAP II integrated system, detailing the logical interaction between the systems in the areas of part specification maintenance and engineering changes, is currently being developed. A formal language for specifying the operations in and between the MRP II and CAD systems, namely "update dependencies," has been defined, and used as an AI production system. In addition, an interpreter for the specification language has been implemented in Prolog and has been tested against a portion of the model design specifications. A demonstration session is also presented with results and a discussion of our experience so far. Finally, the next steps of our implementation strategy are outlined.