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Emerging Issues in Planning/

Operations Management

Upon completion of this unit, students will get to know:
What is a manufacturing system

Process-oriented view of the firm
Competitive priorities and the Indian fine
Manual; mechanized & automated systems
What is automation
Hard, soft and hybrid systems
Conceptual view of CIM
Major components of CIM
Benefits of CAD
Intelligent design tools for manufacturing
Classification of parts into families
Evolution of NC machines
What are robots
Closing the design-manufacturing gap
Retrieval & Generative Systems
What is AGVS and ASRS
Components of FMS
What are wastes
Elements of HT
A systems approach to quality
MRP, ERP and CSMRP systems
What are bottlenecks
What is a sociotechnical system
18.1 Introduction
18.2 Manufacturing Systems: Evolution & Competitiveness
18.3 Classification of Process Technology
18.4 Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM)
18.5 Computer-Aided Design (CAD)
18.6 Group Technology (GT)
18.7 Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM)
18.8 Robotics
18.9 Computer-Aided Process Planning (CAPP)
18.10 Manufacturing Planning. & Control Systems
18.11 Flexible Manufacturing Systems (FMS)
18.12 Just-in-Time (JIT) Manufacturing Systems
22 18.13 Total Quality Management (TQM)

Advanced Manufacturing Systems

18.14 Advanced MRP Type Systems
18.15 Optimized Production Technology (OPT)
18.16 Summary
18.17 Glossary
18.18 Self-Assessment Exercises
18.19 Further Readings
18.20 References
A manufacturing system comprises of man, machine and processes working together
as a whole guided by a set of ideas, theories and principles. It is normally driven by
customer needs and wants. In modern systems it is very_ important to listen to the
voice of the customer and deploy his needs through the entire manufacturing process.
Figure 18.1 shows such a system along with the necessary feedback loops which help
transform the raw material into finished goods (through a series of value added
stages) for the satisfaction of either the stated or unstated needs of the customer. The
basic functions of this generic manufacturing system are product & process design,
planning & control and the manufacturing process. Modern concepts are aimed at
integrating these functions to form a sensitive system, which is responsive to the
ever-changing customer needs.
Under the liberalized economy, we are facing global competition in our own soil.
Foreign capital, in the form of advanced manufacturing systems, is compelling Indian
companies to rethink their manufacturing strategies for competing on the dimensions
of cost, quality, flexibility and deliverability. Hence it is important for us to
understand the various modern-manufacturing systems available today.
It is important for us to note that no organizational function can work in isolation.
Therefore, instead of having a functional viewpoint. of the organization, we need to
develop a process orientation. Hence the manufacturing system also can no longer be
compartmentalized. Firms have to adopt a process-oriented view of themselves while
being proactive in terms of meeting future challenges.
In this chapter we will be seeing several advanced technologies that can help
organizational functions to excel as independent sub-systems. However, it is
important for us to adopt strategies through which these technologies can be
integrated to form manufacturing and/or business systems appropriate for our
sociotechnical environment.

Figure 18.1: A Manufacturing System

Emerging Issues in Planning/
Operations Management

Over the years manufacturing systems have evolved to provide potential competitive
weapons used by firms to stay ahead in business. A typical manufacturing system
would provide a set of critical success factors which can best support the overall
business objectives in terms of cost, flexibility, quality and deliverability. Thus
depending on the firm's business objectives we have different sets of these success
factors being used through appropriate manufacturing systems which help the firm in
a competitive environment. Table 18.1 shows some of these competitive priorities
used by firms worldwide.
Table 18.1: Competitive Priorities

World class companies use different types of advanced manufacturing systems to
support their competitive priorities. Some of these systems will be discussed in the
following sections. A Japanese Manufacturing System is one such system, which
helps the firm face competition. For the Japanese firm quality is not a competitive
advantage anymore is it is just a qualifier. Their biggest challenge is low price.
Studies have indicated that companies in Japan have made low price as their top most
priority for competing globally since the mid-eighties. The next in importance being
rapid design changes followed by consistent quality. The rest being on-time
deliveries, rapid volume changes, high product performance, fast delivery and
reliable after sales service.
For the Indian Company the focus has been mostly on mass production. The fifty
years of protected economy insulated the Indian industry from foreign competition.
The industry, which was not even domestically competitive, was far from being
globally competitive. However, with the liberalized economy we have global
competition on the home turf. Now we want it or not we have to face competition. In
order to face competition we have to understand, customize and use the right kind of
advanced manufacturing systems with the optimum blend of technology and people
to form effective socio-technical systems for our industry (or socio-economic
In this chapter we will try to understand some of the advanced manufacturing
systems used by the world-class companies. Since advanced technology is a key
component of any manufacturing system, we first try to classify technology and
understand some terminology. This classification will help us in understanding and
positioning our own manufacturing system depending on our needs. We will discuss
this in the following section. After that we will try to understand some of the
important manufacturing systems that we can adapt to our needs.

Advanced Manufacturing Systems

Activity A
Take a manufacturing firm you know. Draw the complete process. Show value
addition taking place. Identify the non value-added stages.

Activity E
Take five different firms belonging to the same industry. Compare their respective
competitive priorities.

Technology plays a key role in the development of manufacturing systems.
Technology itself has made rapid advancements since the beginning of the industrial
revolution gradually replacing the human power with machine power. Hence,
manufacturing technology can be classified into three categories: Manual,
Mechanized, Automated. Figure 18.2 shows this classification.

Source: Adapted from Modem Production /Operations Management by E.S.Buffa &
Figure 18.2: Classification of process technology
Automation applies mechanical, electrical and computer-based systems to drive and
control production. It helps in improving product quality, ensuring fast production
and delivery, offering product flexibility and lowering labor costs. Automation is
again of three types: fixed automation, flexible automation and programmable
automation. While fixed automation is for producing high volume products,
programmable automation, on the other hand, can only yield a few parts by volume
but variety of parts as compared to the type of design. This is shown in Figure 18.3.
The evolving process technologies over the last few decades can be also categorized
under their respective area of applications as suggested by Shani et al

Emerging Issues in Planning/
Operations Management

Engineering technologies such as computer-aided design (CAD), computer-
aided engineering (CAE), computer-aided process planning (CAPP), computer-
aided manufacturing (CAM);

Manufacturing techniques such as robots, group technology, cellular
manufacturing, flexible manufacturing systems (FMS), automated
storage/retrieval system; and
Business techniques such as manufacturing requirements planning (MRP 11),
just-in-time (JIT), kanban techniques, and total quality management (TQM)
Meredith and Hill' have classified advanced manufacturing technologies based on
their level of integration. Thu
Level l -stand-alone (or unitary) equipment such as robots or numeric-controlled
(NC) machine tools.
Level 2 - cells consisting of groups of equipment and materials for the production
of parts, typically utilizing group technology (GT) and computer-aided
manufacturing (CAM). At their highest level of integration, a cell might form a
flexible manufacturing system (FIMS).
Level 3 - linked islands involving cells from level 2 being linked together into
larger production systems which typically utilize CAD/CAM, automated storage
and retrieval systems, JIT, and MRP II.
Level 4 -full integration providing linkage of entire manufacturing function and
all, its interfaces through an extensive information network. This level of
integration is commonly known as computer integrated manufacturing (CIM).
also provides a further classification of the various emerging hard and soft
technologies currently in use by world class companies. As per this classification we
have hard technologies, soft technologies and hybrid technologies. Table 18.2 below
shows this classification along with the grouping of technologies under each class.
Thus we can have various combinations of these technologies forming different
modern manufacturing systems. These modern systems provide for both flexibility
and integration. In this unit we will discuss manufacturing systems adopting hard
technology, soft technology and hybrid technology. "A soft technology uses
programs, philosophies and behavioral approaches. A hybrid system uses information
technology (IT) as an enabler and combines the advantages of both the hard and soft
technologies somewhat more effectively
In the following sections, we will discuss CIM and its components to understand how
advanced manufacturing systems work.

Advanced Manufacturing Systems

CIM Systems provide an integrated approach to production processes through
efficient information handling for overall improvements in product quality and
productivity. An integrated system is far more beneficial than isolated islands of
computerized applications in different areas like design, manufacturing management
and planning. Figure 18.4 and figure 18.5 show two popularly used conceptual views
of CIM. Figure 18.4 shows the various components of CIM which use computing
technology to achieve fully automated process integration.

Figure 18.4: Computing technology in manufacturing
The word "integrated" in the context of CIM is used to describe several instances of
applications needing integration of data, information, functions, processes, machines
or devices. Thus, CIM systems can be used for integrating data or information either
horizontally or vertically within an organization. For example, they can be used

Emerging Issues in Planning/
Operations Management

either for coordinating engineering functions with manufacturing functions or for
coordinating manufacturing processes with one another. They could be used for
integrating material handling systems with production control systems and also for
coordinating methods and procedures in one part of the organization with those in
other parts. Figure 18.5 shows the various components of a modern CIM system,
which includes systems management as yet another important module. .
CIM systems represent the use of most of the hard technologies shown in Table 18.2.
Thus the various components of a CIM system are: computer aided drafting,
computer aided design (CAD) and engineering (CAE), computer aided production
planning (CAPP) computer aided manufacturing (CAM), computer aided quality
control (CAQC), numerically controlled (NC/CNC/DNC) machine tools, Robots,
transfer lines and flexible manufacturing systems (FMS). In addition, to be effective,
they also use the systems management concepts, which include JIT, TQM, and MRP.
These are discussed in the following sections.

Components of CIM

Activity C
Visit few manufacturing organizations. List all the design and manufacturing
activities that have been computerized.

These are specialized software and hardware which allow engineers to design
products directly on computer terminals, analyze them and store in electronic
databases for later use by computer aided manufacturing systems. Computer graphics
is used to design geometric specifications of a part., which is further evaluated and
analyzed with the help of computer

Advanced Manufacturing Systems

aided engineering (CAE). CAD packages can be also used to generate numerically
controlled part programs, which give instructions to computer-controlled tools.
CAD systems enhance productivity through faster synthesis, analysis, and
documentation of designs, resulting in shorter product development lead-time and
lower design costs. They provide greater accuracy and improve quality of designs
through computer-aided engineering. They help generate large number of design
alternatives. These systems also improve communication through better quality of
engineering drawings. A CAD system helps create a database for manufacturing with
details on the material specifications, product dimensions, and bill of materials. Thus
CAD benefits also get carried over to CAM. Figure 18.6 shows a typical CAD/CAM
Modern design systems engage rules and techniques for efficient design from a
manufacturing viewpoint. For example, for a part to be produced by the machining
process, the designer must be guided by the following rules for economic machining:
Design to use standard components,
Use pre-shaped work pieces (designed for a similar previous job) to minimize
Standardize the features
to be machined,
Avoid impossible to machine features,
Avoid difficult to machine features,
Minimize features that are expensive to produce, and so on.

Fig. 18.6: A typical CAD/CAM System
Thus, we have modern concepts like design-for-manufacturability, design-for-
machinability, design-for-assembly, and other similar design-for-X methodologies,
which foster concurrency by taking all downstream concerns of a manufacturing
system up-front. These systematic design-for-manufacture concepts form a part of
CIM systems. Note the level of detailed domain knowledge that is required for the
parts, tools and processes. Computers provide suitable database structures to store
and manipulate such data. Much research has been done on such systems, which
provide intelligence to the CAD tools used for manufacturing [See Box 1: Intelligent
design tools: the need of the hour].
It means grouping parts of a similar characteristic into families. Grouping is done
either based on similarities in design (i.e., the geometry of the parts), or based on
similarities in manufacturing (i.e., the type of processing requirements). For
computer-compatibility and ease of classification, various coding schemes are used.
Coding schemes facilitate retrieval of parts for either design or manufacturing
purposes. Thus, GT can be used either for retrieving existing designs for developing
new parts or for retrieving existing process plans for generating new ones by editing.
GT can be also used in forming manufacturing cells of machine groups that are
closely associated with each family of parts. The benefits of GT are shown in some
of the following sections.

Emerging Issues in Planning/
Operations Management

These are specialized computer systems that translate the CAD information into
instructions for automated production machines. CAM involves the effective use of
computer technology in the planning, monitoring and control of manufacturing
processes Figure 18.7 shows some applications of CAM.

Fig. 18.7: CAM Applications
CAM includes several technologies, such as, computer-run machine tools (NC, CNC
and DNC machines), flexible manufacturing systems (discussed later), automated
assembly systems, and computer-aided quality control systems. A numerically
controlled (NC) machine tool is a form of programmable automation, which can
accommodate a variety of part configurations. It can be programmed to perform tasks
either directly, or with a disc or tape. Figure 18.8 shows the evolution of NC
machines to CNC (computerized NC) and DNC (direct NC) machine tools-with the
help of computing technology. The operating principle in all forms of NC machines
is the control of the relative position of a tool or processing clement with respect to
the work-part being processed. The basic components include a program, (with
detailed step-by-step instructions for positioning the spindle, selecting the speed,
tools and other functions), machine control unit (which reads the program of
instructions and runs the processing equipment) and the processing equipment (e.g. a
drilling, milling or turning machine).

Fig. 18.8: Evolution of NC machines

Advanced Manufacturing Systems

A robot is a programmable, multi-functional manipulator with an end-effector (such
as a gripper or welder). Modern day robots also possess vision capability: Robots can
be used to move work-pieces and/or tools along a specified path. Advancement in
robotics is aimed at enhancing the capabilities of robots to emulate the human worker
in terms of his dexterity, flexibility and intelligence. They are useful because they can
withstand hostile environmental conditions and work long hours with consistency in
output. Apart from this, they have a wide range of applications in material handling,
machining, assembly, and inspection. They arc used, for example, in welding and
spray painting operations.
Process planning is necessary to determine the sequence of individual manufacturing
operations needed to produce a given part or product. Typically, the operation
sequences are documented on a route sheet, which is a listing of the production
operations and associated machine tools for a work-part or assembly.

large number of machine tools per part: (b) new machine tools in the shop floor,
which effect the old optimal routings and (c) machine breakdowns, which force
temporary routings to be documented as permanent routings.
The above issues are better managed with the help of automated process planning. A
CAPP system helps generate production routings that are rational, consistent and
even optimal. There are two types of CAPP systems: (a) Retrieval type CAPP
systems and (b) Generative CAPP systems. Retrieval systems are also known as
variant systems, which use group technology (GT) to group parts into families that
are distinguished according to their manufacturing characteristics. For each family a
standard process plan is established. This plan is stored and retrieved when
necessary. For parts having slightly different manufacturing requirements, existing
process plans are customized (through editing) to accommodate the variation (hence
also known as variant systems).

Fig. 18.10: A Generative CAPP System

Emerging Issues in Planning/
Operations Management

Generative CAPP systems create process plans using expert systems based on logical
procedures. An expert system is a computer program that helps the system emulate
the human expert. In a fully generative CAPP system the process plans can be
generated without human assistance and without any dependence on pre-defined
standard plans. Thus the components of a fully generative system are: (i) A technical
knowledge base, (ii) a CAD data base (or even a data base of GT codes defining the
part features) for storing the part descriptions, and (iii) an inference engine having the
capability to apply the domain specific process knowledge and planning logic for the
particular part description being planned. Figure 18.10 shows a generic generative
CAPP system.
These are computer-based information systems that plan and schedule operations.
Automated planning and control systems, as pointed earlier, compare alternatives,
monitor operations, update data continuously, and project operating results. Such
systems also include order-entry processing, shop floor control, purchasing, and cost
accounting. Hence, they are closely associated with automated material handling
systems, which are guided by computers to store and retrieve items. Automated
storage and retrievable systems (ASRS) are computer-controlled warehouses where
parts are stored and retrieved automatically as needed in manufacturing and/or
shipping. Automatic transportation of parts within the factory is done using automatic
guided vehicle systems (AGVS).
These are clusters of automated machines that are controlled by computers. The
clusters produce variety of products on the same machinery. Machine settings are
automatically changed, as per computer instructions, to produce the different variety
of products. Robots and automated material handling systems are used for handling
the parts. Figure 18.11 shows how a typical FMS looks like.

Fig. 18.11: A Flexible Manufacturing System (loop layout)
Thus, the basic components of an FMS are: (i) Automated processing stations, which
use a variety of programmable machine tools having large tool banks; (ii) Automated
material handling systems, for handling the parts contained in pallets and transferring
them between machines in any routing sequence; (iii) Computer control systems, for
coordinating the activities between the other two components; and (iv) Human
operator, for loading raw parts onto the system, unloading finished parts (or
assemblies), changing tool settings, maintaining and repairing equipment, NC part
programming and operating the computerized system.

Advanced Manufacturing Systems

An FMS combines flexibility with efficiency. When properly applied, these systems
reduce manufacturing lead times, reduce work-in-progress, achieve higher average
machine utilization (through off-line setups and better scheduling), and provide
greater flexibility in production scheduling. One example from a foreign country is
General Electric's electric-meters plant: in New Hampshire, USA, which produces
2000 different meters on the same flexible equipment.
Activity D
Visit a suitable manufacturing organization. Collect a list of the various automated
material handling systems that you come across.

JIT also known as zero inventories and stockless production is a philosophy of
manufacturing, which focuses on the reduction of waste and delays at each stage of
the manufacturing process starting with purchase and ending with after-sales-service.
The major focus of a JIT system is waste elimination.

Fig. 18.12 (a-e): The Seven Wastes
Waste is anything other than that which adds value to the product. Every moment
from order entry to delivery is meant to add value to the product. Non-value adding
moments are reduced to a minimum. Thus, waste is also defined as anything other
than the minimum amount of equipment, materials, parts, space, and time, which are
absolutely essential to add value to the product. There are several types of wastes.
Toyota motor company of Japan has identified seven wastes after years of continuous
improvement activities (see figure 18.12). These are
: waste from overproduction,
waste of waiting time, waste of transportation, processing waste, waste of motion,
inventory waste, and waste from product defects. As high-lighted in Figure 18.12.
Japanese manufacturing systems focus on producing what the customer desires
without any delays or defects, and without wasting any resources (i.e., labor,
material, or equipment). They employ methods through which employees are bound
to develop.

Emerging Issues in Planning/
Operations Management

Fig. 18.12 (f & g): The Seven Wastes (contd.)
An ideal JIT system aims to achieve zero defects (i.e., high quality
products), zero inventory, zero lead time (implying rapid response),
and a theoretical lot size of one. This is an unattainable ideal, which
leads to continuous cycle of never ending improvements. The basic
elements of a JIT system are:
Pull production system

Kanban production control
Flexible resources
Cellular layouts
Small lot production
Quick setups

Advanced Manufacturing Systems

Uniform plant loading
Preventive maintenance
Employee involvement
Reduction in number of suppliers
Smaller shipment quantities
Reliable transportation system
Quality at source
Activity E
Take a manufacturing organization you are familiar with. Identify the various wastes
that you come across. Classify them under each of the seven waste categories
mentioned in this unit.

Total Quality Management (TQM) is a systems approach to ensuring quality in an
organization. TQM is not just quality control or quality assurance. Nor is it limited to
the boundaries of a Total Quality Control system. It is a dynamic process with a
strong philosophical base, which incorporates many of the concepts upon which
Total Quality Control Systems are based. The emphasis is on involving everyone in
the organization in activities which provide for continuous never-ending
improvements. Quality activities are planned and managed into the system and are
oriented towards the achievement of complete customer satisfaction. The liberalized
economy is forcing Indian companies to establish. Total Quality Management
Systems. It is a struggle, which has just begun and Indian companies will continue to
do so just to be in the race - lest they perish. Quality will be just a qualifier
, not a
competitive advantage anymore.
TQM involves understanding the customer and the process and then satisfying the
customer by improving the process through total involvement of employees. TQM
efforts, led by top management, involve everyone in the company with the prime
objective of satisfying the external customer. This focuses the organizational efforts
towards satisfying the internal customer with the help of a quality management
system for doing things right the first time. The traditional approach of post-
production detection of defects is discouraged and a prevention philosophy is
adopted to bring down the non-conformances. The organization seeks continuous
never-ending improvements, which are tracked with the help of appropriate
measurement systems,
TQM organizations focus on understanding and responding to the needs of the
customer through quality function deployment (QFD). The voice of the customer is
clearly identified and then deployed throughout the organization with minimum of
In most organizations there are different functions which are geared towards
supporting the core manufacturing (or service) process. Functions, such as, design,
engineering, marketing, finance, systems, R&D, administration, health care and soon.
All these functions can be seen as processes, which are designed to satisfy customer
needs. All processes have variations, which need to be controlled and then improved
in a never ending cycle of efforts aimed at continuous improvement. Various
problem-solving tools and techniques are used for identifying major non-
conformances and therefore the major problem areas.
Companies adopting the TQM philosophy use a wide variety of quality practices that
include, customer orientation methods, cross-functional teams involved in problem
solving (with active participation from customers and suppliers where relevant),
concurrent engineering practice to enhance product development, design of
experiments for developing robust designs, focus on process capability studies,
empowerment of self managed teams, development of suggestion systems, use of
work cells, JIT concepts and so on.

Emerging Issues in Planning/
Operations Management

MRP (or material requirements planning) systems are computer programs that
have evolved over the last 30 years into advanced systems known as Enterprise
Resource Planning (ERP) Systems.
In the original form the MRP system comprised of a software program that was used
for avoiding unnecessary inventory build-up. Production schedule revisions due to
capacity considerations were done external to the program. Thus, the MRP system
only plans the material requirements by exploding the master production schedule.
The planning of capacity requirements (i.e.. the needs for all other types of resources,
such as staffing, facilities, or tools) is done externally to the MRP system.

example of an MRP II system is IBM's MAPICS (Manufacturing Accounting &
Production Control System). It comprises of nineteen interrelated modules, such as,
accounts payable, accounts receivable, CRP, MRP, cross application support, data
collection system support, financial analysis, forecasting, general ledger, inventory
management for process, inventory management, location management, master
production schedule, MRP, order entry & invoicing, payroll, product data
management, production control & costing, purchasing and sales analysis.
Further developments brought in advanced MRP type systems, which are called
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems. These systems are made to face the
business requirements in a changing world with intense global competition, multi-
plant international sites, wide global product demand, varying cur
ency markets and
international subcontracting. These systems provide instant access to information on
customer needs and which plants will be able to satisfy these needs. They also
provide a company-wide inventory and capacity status. They use distributed
application for planning, scheduling and costing to multiple layers (e.g.: work
centers, sites, divisions etc.) in multiple languages and currencies. They use a
client/server architecture, multiple database support, graphical user interface (GUI),
front-end DSS, automated EDI; inter-operability between platforms and standard
application programming interface.
Manufacturing systems that are driven by customer interactions offer a highly
responsive system to satisfy changing customer needs. A customer synchronized

Advanced Manufacturing Systems

resource-planning system creates such all advantage. Such advanced MRP type
systems link the customer information with the manufacturing planning and
production functions. Typically most customer information is isolated from the main
production planning and control system. Figure 18.14 shows the various customer-
information, which reside elsewhere (within separate functions), that need to be
linked to the main production system.

Emerging Issues in Planning/
Operations Management

Figure 18.15 shows the conceptual framework of the customer synchronized
manufacturing resource-planning system, which creates customized value for the
customer. These systems help manufacture products to customers' specifications
while delivering personalized services and anticipating customer needs. They
facilitate partnering with suppliers to strengthen the supply chain.
MRP and CRP systems are push type production planning systems, which ensure
reduction of inventory and greater resource utilization as compared to traditional
systems. JIT systems are pull type production systems and as mentioned earlier
require intense involvement of the operations manager in shop floor problem solving.
OPT on the other hand is a production-planning and control system which focuses
more on bottlenecks. Now bottlenecks are resources (operations, machines or other
stages of production) that impede production because they have less capacity than
upstream or downstream stages. At bottlenecks, work-in-process inventory builds up
as products arrive faster than they can be completed. Thus, in a series of processors
(no matter how fast the non-bottleneck processors are), the capacity of the bottleneck
processor determines the capacity of the series. OPT was developed by Dr. Eliyahu
, based on his general theory of constraints. It is a production planning and
control information system, which identifies the bottlenecks and then using a group
of proprietary algorithms, schedules the workers, machines and tools at the
bottleneck processors.
Activity F
Visit a suitable manufacturing organization. Under the liberalized economy, what are
the challenges faced by this organization? What manufacturing strategies have been
adopted? What manufacturing systems would you recommend for this organization?
What major implementation hurdles do you see?

We have seen a whole array of advanced manufacturing technologies and techniques,
such as, CIM, CAD, CAE, CAM, CAPP, CAQC, MRPII, FMS, JIT, TQM, robotics,
concurrent engineering and automated storage and retrieval systems. The problem
lies in the effective utilization of these technologies. As mentioned earlier, strategies
such as CIM and TQM cannot be regarded in isolation. Appropriate combinations of
these technologies are needed to provide suitable manufacturing solutions for the
industry. To avoid implementation difficulties a sociotechnical systems approach
needs to be adopted by our companies.
As observed by Gold
and referred by Shani et al
computerized manufacturing
systems enhance "systemic
rather than "point" capabilities. Shani et. al. have stated
the following:
The management problems associated with new manufacturing technologies arise
from their dependence on integration - not just within manufacturing process, hut
across the enterprise as a whole, and even extending beyond the enterprise to include
suppliers and customers. Critical elements of this integration include the interface
between design and manufacturing; between design, engineering, and plant control;
between manufacturing strategy and organization strategy; between manufacturing
processes and firm's systems of cost management and investment appraisal: between
marketing, design, and quality control; and between manufacturing and human
resource management.
For effective utilization of advanced technologies a sociotechnical systems (STS)
framework needs to be adopted. The STS analysis allows for effective interactions
between the social subsystem (man), the technical subsystem (machines; tools,
techniques and knowledge) and the environmental subsystem (includes the
customer). It helps redesign organizations wanting to adopt advanced technologies by
emphasizing the merits of multi-

Advanced Manufacturing Systems

skilling, autonomous work groups, group-based reward systems. increased
interactions with customers, quality inspection at source, information-sharing
mechanisms, performance feedback loops for self-monitoring, self-regulation and
self-correction, flexible responses, and parallel learning structures.
Manufacturing is the heart of any country - and India is no different. With
globalization and liberalization the Indian Industry is faced with the problems of
being competitive in the global arena. Unless we gear up for this challenge now, we
lose. Our industry needs to be innovative in terms of adapting the new
manufacturing technology to gain competitive advantage. [See Box 1]
CAD is DEAD!!", This is what we were told way back in 1989 by Prof. John R Dixon, who
was heading the Mechanical Design Automation Laboratory of the University of
Massachusetts, Amherst, USA. I was perplexed. Then, as I sat through his lectures, gradually
the realization dawned on Inc. What he was trying to say was that CAD tools lacked the
ability to "think intelligently " and hence were no better than mere drafting tools. The letter
`D' in the acronym CAD was indeed very misleading. CAD really meant Computer Aided
Drafting and not the widely used term Computer Aided Design. The design potential was
grossly misused and CAD continued to remain isolated even in a computer-integrated
The first step towards Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) was in bridging the gap
between design and manufacturing. Since human beings have it fascination for automation,
the result was Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing (CAD/CAM), or the larger wheel,
Computer Integrated Manufacturing (or maybe Computer Integrated Management). My
focus is on a smaller domain of CIM that is, CAD/CAM, where we will try to understand the
need for intelligent design tools.
There is no doubt that a computerized drafting tool makes life easier. CAD, as in Computer
Aided Drafting, helps in improving productivity and quality while introducing a higher
degree of standardization. In no way does it help in innovative design, other than just by
representing a skeletal geometric shape in the form of either points, lines or curves on one
end or a "lifeless" solid model on the other. Be it a wire frame model or a solid model, the
fact of the matter is, it needs further processing downstream for either performing
engineering analysis or computer aided manufacturing. This does not help in bridging the rift
between design and manufacturing, thereby, making Computer Integrated Manufacturing
(CIM) a difficult strategy to adopt. The need to overcome this problem by addressing all
downstream concerns was partly a motivating factor in the development of intelligent design
Here is it brief sketch on how intelligent design tools were developed. Early et2orts were
made at bridging the gap between design and manufacturing by trying to translate the design
into some manufactured reality. Systems were developed to interpret the drawings (of
designs) into process plans for manufacturing. Typically these systems would access the
geometric database and identity features relevant from the manufacturing viewpoint. Once
the features were identified the corresponding process plans were automatically generated.
Several such systems were developed in the SOS and these were known as computer aided
process planners (CAPP). However; the trouble with these systems was that they were
repeating the task of the designer by trying to understand what had been already designed in
the first place, and then trying to develop the means of manufacturing that design. The
barrier (gap) between the designer and the manufacturing process planner still remained,
only now replaced by it computerized database.
Towards the late SOS, researchers started thinking differently. They realized that the
drawings stored by the designers are nothing but low level data having limited or almost no
knowledge. The CAD tools had advanced from wire frame modelers to solid modelers, and
yet they lacked knowledge. Automated process planners still had to abstract relevant
information from low level data. Higher level representations were badly needed to store the
designers' intent and assist the manufacturing planner thereby providing intelligent support
right up front.
As mentioned before, relevant features were being identified from low level geometric data
to develop detailed process plans. This word, FEATURE, gradually started picking up
momentum. There were researchers talking about design-by-features and some believing in
design-with-features and yet some others researching just on features (feature mapping,
feature extraction, feature recognition, etc.). Their efforts gave birth to the feature based
design tools. Designers could now depend on it library of features to assist them with their
designs. There were several different viewpoint specific features. A feature, relevant from a
manufacturing viewpoint, was defined as an entity representing manufacturing knowledge
(or, for that matter, any other viewpoint specific knowledge). This, using a feature from the
library, the designer would be forced to design-for-manufacturability. Though these

Emerging Issues in Planning/
Operations Management

features imposed constraints on the design space, they helped the designer to do his work
right the first time, an essential principle of Total Quality Management (TQM). This reduced
rework and enhanced concurrency thereby saving engineering and design cycle times that
ultimately helped improve the lead time in new product development.
As we see, research has progressed in enhancing the intelligence of the design tools to a
large extent. However, we in India have not yet been able to realize these benefits. Our
country has been the dumping ground of obsolete technology from developed nations. With
them now realizing the enormous market potential of Asian countries like India, the rate of
dumping has also increased. This has resulted in our people being faced with products
having really short useful life cycles. Before one gets acquainted with a certain product a
new one is introduced in the market. Hence our people are forced to move from older models
to newer models without realizing the maximum benefits of any one of them. For instance,
we have offices acquiring Pentium processors without having their people realize the lull
potential of the 286s, 3863 and the 486s. This fast rate of change, coupled with attitudinal
barriers, bring in a certain cultural resistance. This is because of the fact that there is a
natural reluctance and inability to learn about and use new products. "This is true of any
emerging hard or soft technology.
The same is also true of the class of software products used by our designers. Even though
the design software have evolved over the years, our industry has not been able to take the
lull advantage of the promises of CAD tools. We are still awed by the ancient drafting (not
design) tools. Even if there is a slightly improved design tool available we under-utilize it in
terns of its capabilities. Nor do we find our industry aggressively adopting product
innovation as a major competitive strategy. Naturally therefore we are not facing any
pressures to research and develop real design tools for new product development.
The point I am trying to make here is that we should be focusing on the development and use
of intelligent design tools and not mere drafting tools. A good and intelligent design tool
fosters concurrency. Concurrency helps in reducing the lead time thereby making the
manufacturing organization competitive. Manufacturing is the heart of any country - and
India is no different. With globalization and liberalization the Indian Industry is faced with
the problems of being competitive in the global arena. Unless we gear up for this challenge
now, we lose. Our industry needs to be innovative. Product innovation is the treed of the
hoar. For this, we need to exploit the full potential of the available design tools and, if
necessary, we have to indigenously develop our awn design tools. The fastest and effective
way to indigenously develop is to customize the available design tools to think intelligently.
I am not saying that high-tech is the solution to all our miseries. What is appropriate for our
socioeconomic conditions is a mix of both high-tech and manual systems - Human
Oriented CIM (more on this later) is perhaps one answer. Most importantly we have to
learn to realize the maximum benefits of the available technology and be ready to catch up
fast with the next to next generation products.
(By Dr Kausltik Sahu, Associate Professor, Operations Management, Xavier Institute of
Management. Bhubaneswar -751 0131


Automated assembly system: A system of automated assembly machines linked together
by automated materials handling equipment. Used to produce major assemblies or
completed products.
Automated flow liner A production line that includes automated machines linked
together by automated transfer and handling machines
designed to produce one type of
component or product.
Automated guided vehicle system (AGVS): A system that uses powered and computer-
controlled conveyors such as driverless trains, pallet trucks, and unit load carriers to
deliver orders to work stations in the shop floor.
Automated process controls system: System that uses sensors to obtain measures of the
performance of industrial processes, compare them to predetermined standards, and then
automatically signal changes in the settings of those processes.
Automated quality control inspection system: System utilizing machines that have
been integrated into the inspection of products for quality control purposes.
Automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS): System for receiving orders for
materials, collecting the materials,' and delivering them to work stations in the shop floor.
Automatic identification system (AIS): System that uses bar codes, radio frequencies,
magnetic strips. optical character recognition, and machine vision to sense and input data
into computers.

Advanced Manufacturing Systems

Automation: Traditionally means replacement of human effort with self-actuated
machine effort. From a manufacturing viewpoint, automation is a technology
concerned with the application of mechanical, electronic and computer-based
systems to operate and control production. It integrates a full range of advance
scientific and engineering discoveries into production processes for strategic
Backward integration: Expansion of the ownership of a company's production and

distribution chain backward toward the sources of supply.
Benchmarking: The practice of establishing internal standards of performance by
looking to how world-class companies run their businesses.
Bill of material: List of the materials and their quantities required to produce one
unit of a product, or end item.
Bottleneck operation: Production operation, within a sequence of operations, with
the least capacity for a product.
Business strategy: Long-range plan of an organization and the methods to be used to
achieve its corporate objectives.
CAD/CAM: Computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing.
Capacity requirements planning (CRP): Process of reconciling the master
production schedule to the labor and machine capacities of a production department.
Capital intensive: Depending on capital rather than labor as the predominant
resource in an operation.
Cellular manufacturing (CM): Grouping of machines into cells that function like a
product layout island within a larger job shop or process layout.
Closed-loop MRP: System built around material requirements planning and also
including production planning, master production scheduling, capacity requirements
planning, and various execution functions.
Component: A part that goes into an assembly.
Computer-search techniques: Capacity-planning method using pre-programmed
rules that control the way resources are combined to select a low-cost capacity plan
for a time period.
Computer-.tided design (CAD): Computerized process for designing new products
or modifying existing ones.
Computer-aided manufactu
ing (CAM): Use of computers to plan and program
production equipment. in the production of manufactured items.
Computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM): Total integration of all business
functions associated with production through computer systems.
Continuous improvement: Allows companies to accept modest beginnings and
make small incremental improvements toward excellence.
Design-for-manufacturability (DFM): Designing products by taking all
downstream, manufacturing related concerns up-front, thereby reducing
Design simplification: In product and machine reliability, the reduction of the
number of interacting parts in a machine or product.
Discrete unit manufacturing: Manufacturing distinct or separate products such as
automobiles or dishwashers.
Distribution requirements planning (DRP): Planning for the replenishment of
regional warehouse inventories.
Distribution resource planning: Planning for the provision of the key resources of
warehouse space - number of workers, cash, shipping vehicles, etc. - in the right
quantities and when needed.
Distribution system: Network of shipping and receiving points starting with the
factory and ending with the customer.
Factories of the future: A 1990s term for factories in which computers would be the
basis for high-tech production methods.

Emerging Issues in Planning/
Operations Management

Flexible automation: Use of computer-driven automated machines that are easily
reprogrammed for other products.
Flexible manufacturing system (FMS): System in which groups of production
machines are sequentially connected by automated materials-handling and
transferring machines and integrated into a computer system.
Flexible work force: Group of workers trained and cross-trained in several types of
Forward integration: Expansion of the ownership of a company's production and
distribution chain forward toward the market.
Group technology/cellular manufacturing (GT/CM): Form of production based on
a coding system for parts that allows families of parts to be assigned to
manufacturing cells for production.
Hard automation: Use of automatic machinery that is difficult to change over to
other products.
Heuristics: Simple rules or guides to action. As used by several expert systems.
Just-in-time (JIT) system: Production and inventory control system based on small
lot sizes, stable and level production schedules, and focused factories with a system
of enforced problem solving.
Kanban: Production system based on conveyance and production cards that
determine the movement of production orders between workstations.
Master production schedule (MPS): Schedule of the amount and timing of all end
items to be produced over a specific planning horizon.
Material requirements planning (MRP): Computerized system that determines
how much of a material should be purchased or produced in each future time period.
Materials-handling system: Entire network of transportation that receives, sorts,
moves, and delivers materials within a production facility.
MRP I (Manufacturing resource planning) : Primitive form of material
requirements planning that simply exploded the MPS into the required materials.
MRP II: Process of planning all resources of a firm, including business planning,
production planning master production scheduling, material requirements planning,
and capacity requirements planning.
Numerically controlled (NC) machines: Machines preprogrammed through
magnetic tape or microcomputers to perform a cycle of operations repeatedly.
Optimized production technology (OPT): A production planning and control
information system that finds the bottlenecks in a production process.
Process capability: Production process's ability to produce products within the
desired expectations of customers.
Pull system: System of production planning and control in which the next stage of
production is looked at, determined what is needed and that only is produced.
Push system: System of production planning and control in which products are
moved forward through production by the preceding step in the process.
Quality assurance: System for assuring quality control in all operations.
Quality circle (QC circle): Small group of employees who voluntarily and regularly
meet to analyze and solve production and quality problems.
Quality at the source: Assignment of responsibility for product quality to
production workers, who are expected to produce parts of perfect quality before those
parts are passed on to the next production operation.
Quality function deployment (QFD): A formal system for identifying customer
wants and eliminating wasteful product features and activities that do not contribute
Regenerative MRP system: Material requirements planning system in which a
complete MRP is processed periodically, resulting in a new MPS, an updated
inventory status fie, and an updated bills of material file that generates a complete set
of outputs in the MRP computer program.

Advanced Manufacturing Systems

Resource requirements planning: Determination of the quantity and timing of all
production resources needed to produce the end items in a master production
Robust design: Design that will form as intended even if undesirable conditions
occur either in production of in the field.
Robot: Reprogrammable multifunctional manipulator designed to move materials,
parts, tools or specialized devices through variable programmed motions for the
performance of a variety of tasks.
Simultaneous engineering: Concept of product/service design proceeding at the
same time as process design, with continuous interaction between the two.
Synchronous manufacturing: System of production planning and control in which
all parts of an organization work together to achieve the organization's goal.
Total quality management (TQM): System of producing ,high-quality products and
services initially rather than depending on detecting defects later through inspection.
Vertical integration: Amount of the production and distribution chain brought under
the ownership of a company.
Volume flexibility: Ability to quickly increase or reduce the volume of
products/services produced.
World-class company: Each product and service would be considered best-in-class
by its customers.
What is a manufacturing system? Explain with the help of an Organization you
What is process-orientation? Compare it with a functionally oriented
What is competitive priority?
How do you go about classifying the emerging technologies?
What is the difference between hard, soft and hybrid technologies?
What is CIM? What are the various components of CLM?
"Systems management is part of CIM" Discuss.
What do you understand by CAD? What is its role in supporting
What is GT? What are its uses?
What is CAM? How is it linked with design?
What are the uses of robots?
Should robots replace human beings? Discuss.
Explain the two approaches to computer aided process planning.
What is a flexible manufacturing system? What are its advantages?
What is JIT? What are the basic elements of a JIT system?
What is TQM?
What are advanced MRP systems?
What is a bottleneck?
What is a sociotechnical system?
Adam. E.E. and Ebert, R.J. (1995) Production and Operation Management, fifth
edition, Prentice-Hall of India Private Ltd, New Delhi.
Berk, J. and Berk, S. (1993) "Total Quality Management: Implementing Continuous
Improvement." Excel Books. New Delhi.

Emerging Issues in Planning/
Operations Management

Buffa, E. S., and Sarin, R. K. (1994) Modern Production/Operations Management,
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.,
Chase, R.B., and Aquilano, N. J. (1995) Production and Operations Management.
Manufacturing and Services, Richard D Irwin Inc.
Goldran, Eliyahu M. and Cox J. (1993) The Goal: A Process of Ongoing
Improvement, Productivity press (India) private limited
Groover, M. R (I9$9) Automation, Production Systems, and Computer-Integrated
Manufacturing, Prentice-Hall of India Private Ltd, New Delhi.
Russell Roberta S. and Bernard W. Taylor III, (1995) Production and Operations
Management: Focusing on Quality and Competitiveness, Prentice-Hall Inc.
Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
Pfeifer, T. Eversheim, W., Konig, W. and Weck, M. (1994) Manufacturing
Excellence: The Competitive Edge, Chapman & Hall, UK
Ranky P. G. (1986) Computer Integrated Manufacturing: An Introduction with Case
.Studies, Prentice-Hall International, UK.
Suzaki, K. (1987) The New Manufacturing Challenge: Techniques for Continuous
Improvement, The Free Press, New York.
1. Chryssolouris, G. "Manufacturing Systems: Theory and Practice, Springer-
Verlag, New York 1992.
2. A.B.Shani, R. M. Grant, R.Krishnan, E. Thompson, "Advanced Manufacturing
Systems and Organizational Choice: Sociotechnical System Approach,"
California ManagementReview, Sunnner 1992, pp.91-111
3. J.R.Meredith and M.M.Hill, "Justifying New Manufacturing Systems: A
Managerial Approach," Sloan Management Review, Summer 1987, pp. 49-61
4. S.Aggarwal, "Emerging Hard and Soft Technologies: Current Status, Issues and
Implementation Problems, Omega, Int. J. Adgnit.Sci. Vol. 23, No. 3, pp. 323-
5. Source: Production and Operations Management: Focusing on Quality and
Competitiveness by Roberta S. Russell and Bernard W. Taylor III, Prentice-Hall
Inc. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
6. Features are defined as entities representing the viewpoint specific manufacturing
knowledge. (eg. A hole to be drilled in a drilling operation)
7. "The New Manufacturing Challenge: Techniques for Continuous Improvement,"
by Kiyoshi suzaki, The Kiyoshi Suzaki, The Free Press, New York.
8. Adapted from: "Customer Synchronized Resource Planning (CSRP): A New
Standard for Manufacturers," by Catherine De Rosa, Vice President of Marketing
at Symix.
9. Eliyahu M. Goldratt and Jeff Cox, "The Goal: A Process of Ongoing
Improvement," (Craton-on-Hudson, NY.- North River Press, 1986)
10. B. Gold. "CAM Sets New Rules for Production," Harvard Business. Review,
November/ December 19142, pp.88-94
11. A.B.Shani, R. M. Grant, R.Krishnan, E. Thompson. "Advanced Manufacturing
Systems and Organizational Choice: Sociotechnical System Approach,"
California Management Review. Summer 1992, pp. 91-111
12. Compiled mostly from: Production and Operations Management by Norman