INformation Systems for Integrated Manufacturing (INSIM) - A Design Methodology

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Full control and management of information flow in manufacturing has not yet been achieved, mainly because of the data inconsistencies and lack of established functional relationships among different manufacturing application systems. Research toward CIM has been concentrating on the computerization of individual functions, such as computer aided design and shop floor control, and the integration of data relations, such as global database frameworks and distributed database management systems. A mechanism to control the information flow among all of the manufacturing application systems, in order to streamline factory activities based on company-specific and company-wide policies and procedures is proposed here. The goal is to achieve a fully integrated manufacturing management system. The INformation Systems for Integrated Manufacturing (INSIM) reflects a design methodology to build a knowledge base to serve as the control mechanism. This design methodology features an enhanced graphic modeling tool - Updated Petri Nets (UPN) - which is capable of modeling database updates and retrievals, under specific constraints and conditions, and uses a hierarchical modeling approach. Finally, a prototype rule based system, using the INSIM methodology, is being implemented. It assimilates the functionality and assertains the control of information flow between Computer Aided Design, Process Planning, Manufacturing Resource Planning and Shop Floor Control.