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Computerized Manufacturing Applications Manufacturing Information Systems Production Control Systems In computer integrated manufacturing environments dependability is a crucial attribute for the production management and control information system which should be carefully assessed during system design A global approach is taken for assessment of the dependability of industrial information systems1 Manufacturing environments are changing constantly and the technology surrounding and supporting them is often changing faster Solving manufacturing problems by acquiring a variety of incompatible hardware and software from multiple vendors has created a complex application and device integration problem Approaches taken are driven toward a more application independent platform2 Manufacturing companies throughout the world in many industries are adopting lean manufacturing methods a fundamental shift from traditional mass production The original model for lean manufacturing is the Toyota Production System Toyota runs their system with remarkably little information technology and relies heavily on simple visual manual signals to manage scheduling and material flow Central tenets of lean manufacturing include 1 Takt time and continuous flow-all operations should ideally build at the pace of customer demand 2 Demand is leveled by creating an inventory buffer and replenishing that buffer using a leveled schedule 3 Since simplicity in manufacturing is a virtue visual systems should be used wherever possible Information systems can be a powerful tool as long as they are subordinate to the physical systems and not designed to replace them As other companies in the modern computer age have been adopting lean methods the question arises In what ways can appropriately applied information technology significantly enhance the performance of lean systems3 Central tenets of lean manufacturing include Takt time and Continuous Flow-All operations should ideally build at the pace of customer demand Continuous flow is the ideal building one piece at a time which tends to minimize waste with all operations building
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