George Lane Hamilton, Jr.

Effective utilization of information is crucial to any company’s success in the competitive global marketplace. As customers’ demands for customized products has increased, the US carpet industry’s market has begun to transform from one of volume to one of customization. Carpet manufacturers must be able to provide unique products to the consumer while maintaining their ability to produce and distribute these products efficiently and quickly. Computer-Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) provides the necessary tools for the effective flow of information that will enable a company to compete successfully in this environment.

For the proper implementation of CIM, the activities and information required for the operation of a carpet manufacturing enterprise must be thoroughly studied. Activities and information flow should be systematically modeled to proved the framework for the development of an information system. The resulting "As-Is" model provides a representation of current practices and assists in the development of a "To-Be" model incorporating CIM. Modeling both the current and future activities and their respective information flows enables the enterprise to determine the most appropriate approach to implement information systems.

An "As-Is" function model based on current industry practices has been developed; it has been enhanced to incorporate the use of CIM and information systems in the development of a "To-Be" function model. This model has been verified by industry experts. As part of a total Carpet Manufacturing Architecture, the "To-Be" function model can be used as a blueprint for the implementation of CIM within a carpet manufacturing enterprise.


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