CIM is also known as integrated computer aided manufacturing.3. Applications software and hardware, including material planning and control, quality systems, inspection and vision, computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing, and computer aided process planning/computer-aided engineering ."Another scholar described CIM as an "integration tool which uses information and automation hardware and software for production control and management".A different perspective of CIM is that it is a "management technology that makes feasible the fully-automated factory-of-the-future".GT is a manufacturing philosophy in which the parts having similarities are grouped together to achieve higher level of integration between the design and manufacturing functions of a firm.The aim is to reduce work and improve performance by reducing lead times.GT emphasizes the principle that many problems are similar to each other and by grouping similar problems together; we can find a single solution to a set of problems. The group of similar problems is known as part family and the group of machineries used to process an individual part family is known as machine cell. This type of manufacturing in which a part family is produced by a machine cell is known as 'Cellular Manufacturing'.
Group Technology can:
Enable Cellular Manufacturing
Reduce Engineering Cost
Accelerate Product Development
Improve Costing Accuracy
Simplify Process Planning
Reduce Tooling Cost
Help With Value Stream Mapping
BENEFITS OF GT
GT benefits manufacturing in many ways. It reduces the number and variety of parts. Computer Aided Process Planning (CAPP) is an important tool for this. It uses the coded similarities to plan consistently, standardize and accurately estimate costs. It then assigns the part to a GT manufacturing cell.
It also reduces throughput time and Work-In-Process. They simplify schedules, reduce transportation and ease supervision. Some of the more dramatic and tangible savings come from improved setups and tooling cost. Setup time reductions bring smaller lot sizes and smaller queues which mean faster throughput, shorter lead times and decreased inventory.
Moreover, GT sometimes eliminates the need for expensive NC equipment. Combined with NC, GT simplifies programming, fixturing and tooling.
FLEXIBLE MANUFACTURING SYSTEM (FMS)
"A system that consists of numerous programmable machine tools connected by an automated material handling system" (Russell).
FMS has following