Date of Award


Degree Type

Master's Essay - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

First Advisor

Walter M. Hirthe

Second Advisor

Martin A. Seitz

Third Advisor

Vikram Cariapa


The purpose of this essay is to examine the current and future role of computers and computer-related technology in a large manufacturing-machining job-shop environment, The discussion will concentrate on metal cutting manufacturing applications, rather than on an assembly environment. The emphasis will be on leading edge technologies and the many areas encompassed by the term CAD/CAM (Computer-Aided Design/Computer-Aided Manufacturing). Particular emphasis will be placed on the slash in CAD/CAM, that is the integration of CAD and CAM. Some of the specific areas that will be discussed include CNC (Computer Numerical Control), DNC (Direct Numerical Control), FMS (Flexible Manufacturing Systems), IAG (Interactive Graphics) and CIM Integrated Manufacturing).

The discussion will begin with the history of computers in manufacturing, followed by current trends. The three main objectives are: examining technology trends; identifying problem areas; discussing potential solutions. The initial sections are intended as background information for the reader not familiar with the subject. However, the majority of sections will concentrate on implementation problems and potential solutions associated with integrating the technologies. The essay will conclude with a look towards the future.