An Object Oriented Database for Information Management in Computer Integrated Manufacturing

By Charles, Willow | Advances in Management, June 2015 | Go to article overview

An Object Oriented Database for Information Management in Computer Integrated Manufacturing


Charles, Willow, Advances in Management


Abstract

Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) seeks to automate both manufacturing and information within an organization. However, a number of CIM's have been reported to have difficulty in integrating the information module. This research focuses on designing the manufacturing part-design database in an object-oriented (OO) manner for rapid retrieval and extensibility of the part information. The part database serves as the prime input to the manufacturing module which then determines the part quantities, part types for production, part routings and overall production volume. The OO database strictly follows the CORBA protocol and was tested with a miniature CIM. The results indicate that an OO database is crucial to integrating the information in a CIM given the fluctuating market demand for parts.

Keywords: Object Oriented Databases, Object Oriented Design, Computer Integrated Manufacturing, Information Management,

Introduction

Computer Aided Design in CIM: The nineties is an era of integration for organizations around the globe. It has brought powerful yet affordable micro computers, establishing a firm ground for the information age. Furthermore, almost any kind of information can be digitized and accessed in a compact form, creating a favorable environment for the downsized machines. The manufacturing community was not an exception in realizing the change, spawning a new term. Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM). CIM can be described as an integrated system of manufacturing, business and other engineering functions through the use of a set of computers. CIM has provided a number of substantial benefits, encompassing lower manufacturing costs, reduced inprocess inventories, improved productivity and most of all, agile and flexible response to the fluctuating customer demands. In short, a CIM expects to achieve a fully automated manufacturing system in terms of both production and information. Fig. 1 illustrates a CIM in a functional view and figures 2 and 3 show its decompositions.

As seen in fig. 2, the part design database is the prime input to the Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) module. Design for each part within an organization is secured. along with their specification. In addition, the database is frequently accessed by the process planning submodule.

Feature-Based Design: The drawings for parts reside m the CAD database in a format which is not directly compatible with that tenable for CAM. In consequence, there have been intensive studies focusing upon the conversion procedure from a CAD file format (e.g. IGES) to a format suitable for CAM [Winged Edge (WE) representation]. The conversion in general, utilizes a number of algorithms to complete. However, the whole procedure is time consuming and at times, the algorithms are found to be unreliable for complicated part features. This problem in turn, comed a new term Feature-based Manufacturing among the CAD/CAM community. The underlying idea is to develop and maintain the whole manufacturing process based on features. That is, starting from CAD, the drawings are all created as a collection of features (e.g. steps, slots etc.) which can readily be accessed by CAM whenever necessary. Consistency and timeliness of production can then be guaranteed. However, recognizing 3-D features among the solid has indeed complicated the CAD portion. Fig. 4 illustrates examples of manufacturing features.

Recognizing a feature within a solid initially involves the use of data structures. The structure for a solid follows:

In contrast to the conventional techniques, edges are recognized as vectors in a feature-based CAD system. That is, an edge is first defined as scalar amount of line segment surrounded by two and only two faces (i.e. Winged Edge). Otherwise, it is not an edge. The edge is then classified as convex or concaves (Fig. 6).

One problem of this winged edge (WE) representation is the ambiguity of (distinguishing) mterior/exterior of the solid. …

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