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Appendix B Toward Computer-Integrated Manufacturing Computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM) is a broad term re- ferring to utopian factories of the future in which computers are integrated into all aspects of design, production, and control. As such, CIM technology encompasses hardware, software, and systems that support the design and manufacture of mechanical devices. The primary goal of CIM is to increase the flexibility of the pro- duction line to support faster response to changing market demands. Related goals of CIM systems are to achieve higher product quality, smaller Tot sizes (approaching one), and reduced work-in-process in- ventory. Early efforts to realize CIM systems were driven by a naive push for labor reduction; more recent motivations include desires for improvements in product quality and response time. CIM technology is relevant to the discussion of export control policy because it is generic; that is, it affects a wide range of militarily important and other products in a large industrial sector (manufac- turing of discrete parts), and it has the potential to yield radical improvement in productivity, product quality, and response time. BASIC TECHNOLOGY CIM technology is too broad to be covered thoroughly in this report. The following discussion focuses on one key technology area: 250
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APPENDIX B 251 software for mechanical design and drafting, geometric modeling, and finite element analysis. Design and drafting was the first CIM-related application area to develop. It has grown rapidly to become the largest. Commercial two-dimensional (2-D) drafting packages appeared in the early 1970s. ~ . . . ~ . . · 1 ~ _ ~ ~ _ ~ _ ~ A ~ ~;11; ~~ In last the size of the industry was Emma ~o u~ ~~.o (41 percent compound growth since 1976~. Software for 2-D and 3-D drafting runs on every available com- puting platform. Mainframe-based systems (e.g., CADAM and Mac- Auto), descendants of systems developed by airframe manufactur- ers, also have some database management facilities. Engineering workstation-based systems (e.g., Intergraph and Computervision), descendants of "turnkey" systems developed in the 1970s, have some data-sharing capabilities through the networking of platforms. PC- based systems (e.g., AutoCad and CadKey), developed in large num- bers in the past 10 years, have come to dominate the market because of their low price ($15,000 to $20,000 per workstation), ease of use, and minimal training and support requirements. Geometric Modeling Production use of geometric modeling software is limited but growing. Principal applications include image generation, mass prop- erty analysis, and interference checking. These first-generation solid modelers are difficult to use, slow, and unreliable, but are avail- able on mainframes (e.g., CATIA, PADE, GeoMod, and Romulus), engineering workstations, and personal computers. Finite Element Analysis Finite element analysis (FEA), including pre- and postprocess- ing, is seeing wider use despite being hampered by excessive setup time and computational requirements. 2-D applications outnum- ber 3-D applications due to scaling laws. It is expected that FEA applications will become more numerous as computational power in- creases and moves closer to the user with improvement in desk-top computers. Advances in automatic mesh generation algorithms have the potential to increase use of PEA methods by an order of magnitude. The integration of manufacturing applications into systems will be paced by software, and will be slow and incremental.
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252 APPENDIX B Integration Individual functions of drafting, modeling of solids, FEA, and computer-numericaBy controlled (CNC) machining and other pro- duction functions are performed or assisted by specialized applica- tions software. The degree of integration among functions is low, limiting the impact of each application to incremental productivity improvements. Integration is especially limited for functions that occur at different levels or in different parts of the manufacturing organization, such as FEA and other engineering analyses on one level and CNC machining and other computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) functions on another. There is some possibility that artificial intelligence (Al) meth- ods will effect major breakthroughs in conceptual design, automated analysis, or machine diagnosis. It is more likely, however, that appli- cations wiD simply become (incrementaDy) "smarter" as Al methods are integrated into new computer-aided design (CAD) and CAM software. In the short term, the principal impact of AT will be to produce better user interfaces for existing applications and improved programming environments for developers. MAJOR TECHNOLOGY TRENDS The Shifting Price and Performance Curve The most important trend in CIM software is the rapidly im- proving price and performance ratio of computing platforms. Con- tinuing and rapid price and performance improvements in hardware increased the scale of applications and accessibility by the user. Three-dimensional analyses are becoming more common; graphics displays and responses to design change inputs are approaching real- time. Applications that formerly ran on mainframes have moved to workstations and those that ran on workstations have moved to personal computers (PCs). General-purpose drafting, for example, will become exclusively a PC application in the near future. Sev- eral packages for solid modeling and finite element analysis are now available for the IBM-PC and the Apple Macintosh. The Market and Major Players . The improving price and performance relationship of comput- ing platforms has caused a change in the structure of the market
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APPENDIX B 253 that win continue and accelerate. Most CAD/CAM software ven- dors are moving toward workstations, standard hardware, unbun- dled software, personal computers, third-party distribution, and iow- cost/high-volume sales strategies. Noncommodity, high-unit-price software eventually will be restricted to small specialized niche ap- plications and computation-intensive or graphics-intensive applica- tions. CAD/CAM software, like other software, is becoming increas- ingly international. Non-U.S. customers represent increasing frac- tions of the customer base of U.S. CAD/CAM software suppliers. Non-U.S. customers represent 25 percent of total sales of AutoCad, the largest supplier of PC-based drafting software. Developing countries, especially Brazil, the People's Republic of China, India, and Mexico, are growing markets and are especially aggressive in acquiring U.S. CAD/CAM software. This trend may raise new questions for export policy since, in many of these countries, attitudes about software copyright protection are much more casual than in the United States. THE LEADING INDUSTRY PLAYERS The United States leads in both development and use of new CAD/CAM software applications. Europe is second, lagging in de- velopment but not in use. Japan is third, having a strong orientation toward hardware, less toward software. However, with regard to the development and use of integrated computer-aided manufacturing systems, the Japanese may arguably be the world leaders. Leadership in the general numerically controlled machine too] market is already Japanese. It should be pointed out that Japanese companies often make and install their own automa- tion systems, in contrast to the more typical U.S. practice of purchas- ing equipment from a commercial vendor, often through a third party acting as a systems integrator. While individual computer-controlled machines are common in Japan, plantwide networks are not. Major centers of CIM-related research outside of the United States include: Hitachi Production Engineering Research Labora- tory, Yokohama, Japan; MIT] Electrotechnical I,aboratory, Tsukuba, Japan; MITT Mechanical Engineering Laboratory, Tsukuba, Japan; WPI`, Technical University of Berlin, West Berlin, West Germany; OOZE, Technical University of Aachen, West Germany; Computer
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254 APPENDIX B and Automation Institute, Budapest, Hungary; and Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. The level of interest of the Council for Mutual Economic As- sistance (CMEA) countries in CAD/CAM technology is not easily ascertained. The attendance of representatives of CMEA institutions at U.S. CAD/CAM conferences is very limited. One notable excep- tion is the Computer arid Automation Institute, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary. Whether the lack of attendance re- flects a genuine lack of interest or simply constraints imposed by the system is unclear. PROTECTABILITY Domestic software manufacturers are concerned that little or no copyright protection exists beyond U.S. borders, and software piracy is widespread. AutoCad, for example, puts hardware locks on versions of its software destined for European customers. It does not protect U.S. copies because of increased logistical requirements and customer resistance. PC-based drafting wiD be the easiest CAD/CAM technology for CMEA countries to acquire and assimilate due to the availability of PC software and manuals, lack of vendor support requirements, and lack of dependence on other applications.
Representative terms from entire chapter: