Computer Integrated Manufacturing

Computer Integrated Manufacturing

Computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM) is a method of manufacturing in which the entire production process is controlled by computer. Typically, it relies on closed-loop control processes, based on real-time input from sensors. It is also known as flexible design and manufacturing.

Different from other manufacturing methodologies:-

Three components distinguish CIM from other manufacturing methodologies:

  • means for data storage, retrieval, manipulation and presentation;
  • mechanisms for sensing state and modifying processes;
  • algorithms for uniting the data processing component with the sensor/modification component.

Digital Manufacturing - A vision for the 80s

In the 1980s, Computer Integrated Manufacturing was developed and promoted by machine tool manufacturers and the CASA/SME (Computer and Automated Systems Association /Society for Manufacturing Engineers).

"CIM is the integration of total manufacturing enterprise by using integrated systems and data communication coupled with new managerial philosophies that improve organizational and personnel efficiency."

Subsystems used in CIM:-

A CIM system is not the same as a "lights out" factory, which would run completely independent of human intervention, although it is a big step in that direction. Part of the system involves flexible manufacturing, where the factory can be quickly modified to produce different products, or where the volume of products can be changed quickly with the aid of computers. Some or all of the following subsystems may be found in a CIM operation:

Key Challenges

There are three major challenges to development of a smoothly operating CIM system:

  • Integration of components from different suppliers: When different machines, such as CNC, conveyors and robots, are using different communications protocols. In the case of AGVs, even differing lengths of time for charging the batteries may cause problems.
  • Data integrity: The higher the degree of automation, the more critical is the integrity of the data used to control the machines. While the CIM system saves on labor of operating the machines, it requires extra human labor in ensuring that there are proper safeguards for the data signals that are used to control the machines.
  • Process control: Computers may be used to assist the human operators of the manufacturing facility, but there must always be a competent engineer on hand to handle circumstances which could not be foreseen by the designers of the control software.


A computer-automated system in which individual engineering, production, marketing, and support functions of a manufacturing enterprise are organized; functional areas such as design, analysis, planning, purchasing, cost accounting, inventory control, and distribution are linked through the computer with factory floor functions such as materials handling and management, providing direct control and monitoring of all process operations.

Areas of usage

CIM is basically use of information and comunication Technology(ICT)in manufacturing.

See also


  • Jean-Baptiste Waldner (1992), Principles of Computer-Integrated Manufacturing, John Wiley & Sons, ISBN 047193450X
  • A. de Toni and S. Tonchia, Manufacturing Flexibility: a literature review International Journal of Production Research, 1998, vol. 36, no. 6, 1587-617.
  • Yoram Korem, Computer Control of Manufacturing Systems, McGraw Hill, Inc. 1983, 287 pp, ISBN 0-07-035341-7
  • Jean-Baptiste Waldner (1990), CIM, les nouvelles perspectives de la production, DUNOD- BORDAS, ISBN 9782040198206

External links

Further reading

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