Advanced Technology Program ATP Home Page NIST Home Page

Project Brief
  Status Report:   Click Here


Technologies For The Integration Of Manufacturing Applications (TIMA) (October 1994)

A Product-Family-Based Framework for Computer Integrated Manufacturing


Create an automation tool suite, enabling commercial software vendors to rapidly develop, maintain and join families of interoperating products--sets of manufacturing and business applications that work together and can be updated in parallel.

Sponsor: IBM Corporation

1001 Harris Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28262-8563
  • Project Performance Period: 2/1/1995 - 3/31/1997
  • Total project (est.): $3,160,000.00
  • Requested ATP funds: $1,864,000.00

In the nearly trillion dollar electronics industry, speed and agility often determine success in a marketplace that renders new products obsolete within months. Computer-integrated manufacturing is key to responding quickly to market opportunities and competitive challenges. But with an estimated 85 percent of installed CIM software developed in-house, upgrades and other system changes are an onerous task. Much of the bottleneck is at the production end, where specific applications often are isolated from other processes or are linked by specially written computer codes. As a consequence, changing an application's software requires costly, time-consuming reprogramming efforts. Eliminating incompatibilities in manufacturing and business software could trim production lead times by 40 to 60 percent. IBM has proposed tackling the problem with a bottom-up approach by creating an automation tool suite, enabling commercial software vendors to rapidly develop, maintain, and join families of interoperating products--sets of manufacturing and business applications that work together and can be updated in parallel. With collaborators from the University of North Carolina in Charlotte, and in consultation with its customers and software suppliers, IBM intends to devise a reference model to guide development of interoperable products, made by individual vendors or by alliances of software suppliers that establish their own voluntary standard within the framework so that they can provide families of products targeted to specific processes or types of manufacturers. IBM's tool suite will include, for example, "re-engineering assistants" for updating and linking pre-existing "legacy" software and a "workbench" for specifying and documenting how products interoperate and for maintaining that interoperability over successive generations of products. The highly automated tools should reduce much of the manual programming labor now required to create interacting applications, thereby lowering cost barriers that deter commercial vendors from developing software for the factory floor. At the end of the project, IBM will demonstrate a prototype family of manufacturing applications for assembling and testing electronic cards.

For project information:
Sue Parliment, (407) 443-8753

ATP Project Manager
Linda Schilling, (301) 975-2887
linda.schilling@nist.gov


ATP website comments: webmaster-atp@nist.gov
Privacy Statement / Security Notice NIST Disclaimer NIST Information Quality Standards
NIST is an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department