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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The most critical problem faced by too many U.S. industrial executives today is the steady decline in their companies' competitiveness at home and abroad, and the resultant loss in market share. A major reason for the decline has been the gradual emergence of a technology gap in manufacturing. It has not been a single identifiable event, but a slow erosion of the technological foundation of manufacturing. The keys to regaining competitiveness in most U.S. manufacturing industries are quality, productivity, and responsiveness in bringing new products to the marketplace. A primary technology for attaining these attributes, across industries, is computer-integrated manufac tur ing. Manufacturing includes all activities from the perception of a need for a product, through the conception, design, and development of the product, production, marketing, and support of the product in use . Every action involved in these activit ies uses data, whether textual, graphic, or numeric. The computer, today 's prime tool for manipulating and using data, offers the very real possibility of integrating the now often fragmented operations of manufacturing into a single, smoothly operating system. This approach is generally termed computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM). Computer-integrated manufacturing can be employed at many levels short of total integration, which in fact has not yet been achieved anywhere. Manufacturers who are leaders in CIM typically have concentrated their efforts in two areas: · computer-aided design (CAD), which applies the computer to the creation, modification, and evaluation of product design, and · computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), which applies the computer to the planning, control, and operation of a production facility. Manufacturers that concentrated on CAD and CAM in the early stages of the technology's application, however, generally paid little attention to the interface between the two. In most companies, the activities were in different departments with heterogeneous computers and languages, inconsistent objectives, and little or no consideration given to the transfer of information between the two in either 1
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2 direction. Such programs, in consequence, have often been ['islands of excellence" separated by poor communication, diverse goals, and adversarial relationships. Recognizing that the CAD/CAM interface is a key barrier to computer-integrated manufacturing, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) asked the National Research Council (NRC) to investigate the current status of industrial eforts to improve the interface. The NRC, through its Manufacturing Studies Board, formed the Committee on the CAD/CAM Interface to respond to the request. NASA has two major objectives that the Committee's recommendations address. These are: 1. To launch a Manned Space Station by 1992 with a budget of $8 billion. 2. To be "a leader in the development and application of advanced technology and management practices which contribute to significant increase in Agency and National productivity" (NASA Administrator Is goal #8~. Objective 4 under this goal is to "-...conduct joint contractor-NASA pilot productivity incentive programs on a major development project and for a major support service activity.'' Objective 5 is to "establish a capability for agencywide sharing of CAD/CAM techniques by FY 1984." Specifically, NASA asked that the Committee use case studies as a basis for recommendations designed to: o clarify the data management requirements in computer-integrated manufacturing, and · correct deficiencies in current efforts that address the integration between the engineering design of a product and its production. In responding to the charge, the Committee visited five companies that have been leaders in implementing computer-integrated manufacturing and studied three major government programs in this field. It became clear that the problem is much broader than the CAD/CAM interface. Information is used in manufacturing from the conception of a product to its delivery and use in the field. Leaders in U.S. manufacturing have already realized substantial benefits from the computer, but the potential benefits of computer integration may be much greater. One of the best documented examples of the benefits of integrating information is Boeing's experience with its most recent airplane programs, the 757 and 767. The company realized significant improvements in design and production, reduction of part shortages, adherence to schedules, and budgetary performance in comparison with earlier airplane programs. Other examples of excellence in design, reduced work in process, lead-time reduction, and improved productivity and quality were observed in all the firms interviewed by the Committee. In one, for example, the adoption of CIM led to a reduction in the time from release of the design to assembly from 18 weeks to 4 weeks, and
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3 inventory was reduced from three months' supply to one month. These improvements were due in large part to integrated data handling, often manual, from start to finish of the manufacturing process. The values shown below are representative of the intermediate benefits of 10- to 20-year efforts. Further benefits are expected to accrue as full integration is approached. Benefits Achieved Reduction in engineering design cost ' 15-30% Reduction in overall lead time 30-60% Increased product quality as measured 2-5 times previous by yield of acceptable product level Increased capability of engineers as measured by extent and depth of analysis in same or less time than previously 3-35 times Increased productivity of production 40-70% operations (complete assemblies) Increased productivity (operating time) 2-3 times of capital equipment Reduction of work in process 30-60: Reduction of personnel costs 5-20% The challenge of manufacturing management is broadening from the historic interest in handling and processing materials to include the management of information that controls those processes. This major substantive shift is the result of marketplace pressures, which demand greater manufacturing flexibility, improved quality and performance, and faster delivery. Factory operations have always been driven by marketplace needs. Unlike the past, however, the market pressures that necessitate computer-integrated manufacturing are not directly related to the technology. The computer integration of factory data allows higher quality, shorter cycle time between design and production, efficient production of small batches, and faster incorporation of design changes--which in turn respond to the market demand for flexibility, quality, and delivery.
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4 RECOMMENDATIONS The recommendations that follow are based on the need to support progress in factory data management techniques and increase the use of CIM throughout the U.S. manufacturing base. One objective of these recommendations is to ensure access to the knowledge already gained by those manufacturers that have as much as 20 years of experience with the concept. A second and more significant objective arises from the recognition that implementation of CIM exceeds the capabilities of most individual manufacturing organizations. This fact implies the need to develop and disseminate knowledge of factory data management issues by more collective action than has occurred to date. 1. The Committee recommends that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration adopt a strategy of computer-integrated manufacturing for its Manned Space Station program. The use of CIM for the Manned Space Station is essential to meeting the program's administrative goals--a manned station in space in 1992 at a total cost of $8 billion--because manual coordination of the data to support the design and manufacturing of systems components would be time consuming and prone to error. Adoption of a clear CIM strategy by NASA would avoid the evolution of incompatible approaches as each manufacturer or supplier prepares to respond to NASA's space station requirements. Unless the efforts of the hundreds of companies supporting the space station program are coordinated by means of CIM, design engineering and production errors are likely to proliferate. Finding and correcting these errors would entail substantially higher costs, longer development time, and perhaps reduced operational capability. A secondary reason for the use of CIM in the Manned Space Station program is to further the development and use of the technology. NASA has a legitimate role in sponsoring the development and diffusion of technology, such as CIM, that is important to the country but that initially, at least, is beyond the resources of a single company to deliver. The Apollo and Space Shuttle programs provide clear precedents for NASA-funded creation and diffusion of new technologies. Adoption of a strategy of computer-integrated manufacturing would require implementation of CIM throughout the pertinent operations of both NASA and its contractors. Such an effort would involve many combinations of computer equipment from various vendors. To permit communication among these heterogeneous systems, NASA would have to adopt standards for data definition, data formats, languages, and protocols. The communications problem would be difficult but, in the Committee's opinion, surmountable. In solving it, NASA could draw on four existing federal efforts: the Integrated Program for Aerospace Vehicle Design (IPAD), funded by NASA and the Navy; the Air Force's Integrated Computer Aided Manufacturing (ICAM) program; the Product Definition Data Interface (PDDI) effort under ICAM; and the National Bureau of Standards' Automated Manufacturing Research Facility (AMRF).
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5 2. The Committee recommends that companies form consortia to . pursue research and other projects in CIM not readily undertaken by individual companies. The technological accomplishments required to achieve CIM entail enormous expense, creativity, planning efforts, and amounts of time. Only the largest U.S. manufacturers, or those responding to a specific marketplace requirement for CIM' can be expected to apply the needed resources to their CIM efforts. Yet the Committee believes that a majority of U.S. manufacturers will not be able to remain competitive in the quality, timeliness of delivery, and cost of their products unless they use CIM. Therefore, cooperative efforts among companies will enable a broader base of U.S. industry to achieve CIM. To speed the rate of application of existing knowledge about CIM' and to identify priorities for research, groupings of companies should organize to pool their effor ts . Individual company appl icat ions o f CIM technology will vary in hardware, software ~ and order of implemen- tation. However, many issues in data communication,- data bases, and process modeling surpass the abilities of single companies and could best be resolved cooperatively. The Department of Commerce's R&D Limited Partnership program may offer a useful mechanism for forming consort Ha . 3. The Committee recommends that the Computer and Automated Systems Association compile knowledge of CIM technology, drawing on both industrial and governmental sources, and make it available to industry, to universities, and to governmental agencies. All of the companies involved in the Committee ' s site visits had spent a good deal of time planning and organizing for computer- integrated manufacturing. Companies that are not as far as these leaders in their thinking about CIM should not have to develop their plans from scratch. If existing information were available in an organized form from a central place, diffusion of CIM technology would accelerate. The intent of this recommendation is that existing information on CITE be collected, organized, and disseminated to current and prospective users. New information would be added as it became available. The Computer and Automated Systems Association (CASA) of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers has the constituency, mandate, and authority to carry out this recommendation. CASA's membership comprises engineers with an interest in and experience in computer- integrated manufacturing. 4. The Committee recommends that the federal government continue to undertake research to resolve fundamental technical issues related to computer-integrated manufacturing. Resolution of the technical issues in Chapter 3 requires more research than a single company can undertake on its own. Data communication in a heterogeneous system, validation and consistency of
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6 data, representation of textual and geometrical data, expert systems, and analytical models of manufacturing processes are all risky areas of research' requiring multiyear, cooperative efforts. Solutions to these problems are needed to advance work in computer-integrated manufacturing. We believe that the national research agenda should be revised to incorporate these needs and that the efforts initiated should be given long-term support. The Federal Coordinating Council for Science, Engineering, and Technology, chaired by the President's Science Adviser, might be the appropriate group to manage federally funded research related to CIM. Federal science policy-makers need suffi- cient understanding of the generic research issues outlined in this report so that a small percentage of the federal research budget can be effectively directed toward building the cumulative knowledge base necessary for progress on these issues. 5. The Committee recommends that federal agencies that purchase manufactured goods accept digital data sets compatible with the Initial Graphics Exchange Specification, rather than requiring conventional drawings, as a deliverable item under contracts. This recommendation applies to all federal agencies that procure manufactured goods with high tolerance specifications and require the ability to replicate these productse These agencies include NASA, the Departments of Defense and Energy, and others. Some federal contractors already handle graphical material inter- nally in the form of digital data and create conventional drawings solely to satisfy federal contracts. Besides the inefficiency of this procedure ~ errors that creep into drawings produced only to satisfy contracts may not be found until another contractor tries to use the drawings. Acceptance of digital data by the government would obviate this problem and, more importantly, would promote the creation of computer links between organizations as well as within them. The requirement for data in a form compatible with the Initial Graphics Exchange Specification is recommended because it is the only communications protocol as yet widely accepted in industry. It establishes an initial basis for direct digital exchange of graphical data and has been adopted as a standard by the American National Standards Institute. 6. The Committee recommends that manufacturing companies considering investment in product design or manufacturing process technology consider computer-integrated manufacturing. Adoption of CIM technology is essential to the maintenance or recovery of competitiveness by U.S. manufacturers in domestic and world markets. Companies regularly find themselves losing ground to competitors who are introducing CIM. Nevertheless, far too few companies in this country are working seriously to adapt the concept to their operations.
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Representative terms from entire chapter: