• Previous paper based systems provided support for data transfer between departments, and provided a good basis for the introduction of computers


• ASIDE: Computers can make a good system better, but they will always make a bad system worse. This is because a system which is not well defined and poorly understood cannot be programmed, or optimized.


• Characteristics of paper based manufacturing systems,

- Multiple copies of same information.

- Revising information is hard when multiple copies exist.

- Delays for the transfer of paper.

- Easy to lose paper.

- Paper is not interactive.

- Paper requires bulky storage.


• Computers overcome and reduce the problems above, but introduce some technological challenges,

- Creating programs to support corporate functions.

- Software to support interdepartmental communication and data sharing.

- Hardware to support the software.

• This figure below shows various departments, and the information flow [source - ???


• Requirements for interfacing corporate management and staff functional entities to the factory [source - find]


• Assumed functional hierarchy computer system structure for a large manufacturing complex [source - find]


• Report interfacing to corporate management and staff functional entities from the factory [source - find]


• The Shop Floor Production Model (SFPM):

[ source - find]










Supervise shop floor production process

Supervising and coordinating the production and supporting the jobs and obtaining and allocating resources to the jobs.





Coordinate shop

floor production process

Sequencing and supervising the jobs at the shop floor production process





Command shop floor production process

Directing and coordinating the shop floor production process





Execute shop floor production process

Executing the job of shop floor production according to commands


The ISO Reference Model for Factory Automation adds a couple of layers

[ source - find]



Area of Control


Basic Functions

6 /


Managing the corporation

Achieving the enterprise’s mission and managing the corporation

Corporate management


Marketing and sales

Research and Development

5 /

Facility or plant

Planning Production

Implementing the enterprise functions and planning and scheduling production

Product design and production engineering

Production management (upper level)

Resource management (upper level)

Procurement (upper level)

Maintenance management (upper level)

4 /

Section or area

Allocating and supervising materials and resources

Coordinating production and obtaining and allocating resources to jobs

Production management (lower level)

Procurement (lower level)

Resource management (lower level)

Maintenance management (lower level)


Waste material treatment

3 / Cell

Coordinating multiple machines and operations

Sequencing and supervising shop floor jobs and supervising various supporting services

Shop floor production (cell level)

2 / Station

commanding machine sequences and motion

Directing and coordinating the activity of the shop floor equipment

Shop floor production (station level)

1 / Equipment

Activating sequences and motion

Taking action on commands to the shop floor equipment

Shop floor production (equipment level)


• A LAN (Computer Network) Hierarchy for Shop Floor Control [source - find]


• Typical Architecture for Manufacturing Components [ update]









Lathe, Mill, T-10 Bridgeport Series I IBM 7545 Robot

Robot tended Machine Center, Cartrac Material Handling System

Variable Mission System, Several Integrated workstations


Controller Hardware

Mark Century 2000, Accuramatic 9000, Custom-single-board system.

Allen-Bradley PLC-5, IBM-PC, etc.

Windows NT, SUN workstation, etc.

Type Controller

Single-board processors, Machine tool controller, Servo-Controller, etc

PLC, PC, Minicomputer

PC, Microcomputer, Super-MiniComputer

Language Application

Assembler, Part programming, Robot programming, etc.

C, Ladder logic, Pascal and other sequential languages

C, LISP, FORTRAN, and other high level languages

Memory/Size Requirements

8k-128k RAM plus custom ROM, EPROM, etc.

32M RAM, >1M Hard Drive

128M RAM, >1Gigabyte Hard drive

Response Time

< 10-3 sec

< 1 sec

< 20 sec

Machines/ Interconnects

1-1 connect


1-[1,8] Machine tools,

1-[1-50] Material handling


1-[1-15] workstations


• Functional Breakdown of Control Architecture








Tool selection, parameter specification, tool path refinement, GMT code, tool assignment to slots, job setup planning

•Resource allocation jobs

•Batch splitting and equipment load balancing

Batching, Workload balancing between workstations, Requirements planning

Task allocation to workstations

Planning Horizon

Milliseconds - Minutes

Minutes - Hours/Days

Hours - Days/weeks


•Operation sequencing at individual equipment

•Sequence equipment level subsystems

•Deadlock detection and avoidance

•Gantt chart or E.S. based scheduling

•Buffer management

•Assignment of due dates to individual workstations

•Look ahead ES/simulation based scheduling

•Optimization based tech

•Batch sequencing


•Interface to workstation controller

•Physical control (motion control at NC and robot pick and place level)

•Execution of control programs (APT, AML, etc.)

•Monitor equipment states and execute part and information flow actions based on states

•Synchronize actions between equipment (eg. robot & machine while loading/unloading parts)

• Ladder logic execution

Organizational control of workstations, Interface with MPS, generation of reports, etc.


• In all of these models we must consider the value of the information being passed. At the low level control stages, information that is more than a few seconds old may be completely worthless, while the same information at the higher level may be valuable for quality tracking months later.


• We can draw part of a simple flow chart that illustrates a simple CIM system. The elements shown include a PLC, NC machine, and stand alone sensors. These are all integrated by a single computer running cell control software.