Rajeev Malhotra

Apparel manufacturing enterprises, like other discrete-part manufacturing enterprises, can attain flexibility and responsiveness in production through the application of computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM) techniques. However, before implementing CIM, a clear understanding of the integration needs of an apparel manufacturing enterprise is required. To address this need, a systematic integration architecture for the apparel manufacturing enterprise is proposed.

The functions and structure of an existing representative apparel enterprise are represented using descriptive modeling techniques and analyzed to understand the integration needs of apparel manufacturing. Through this analysis, a CIM architecture for an apparel enterprise, consisting of its function, information and dynamics models is developed. The information model provides a comprehensive definition of the enterprise data suitable for information sharing, and serves as the conceptual schema for an enterprise-wide CIM information system. The function model represents the functional components of the enterprise and their interfaces to the CIM information system as defined by the information model. The time-varying behavior of the apparel enterprise, whose static structure is modeled in the function and information models, is captured in the dynamics model.

A methodology suited to the specific needs of CIM systems modeling is proposed and used to develop the apparel enterprise architecture. The proposed methodology, termed integrated framework for enterprise modeling (IFEM), extends the currently available IDEF methodology and provides the means for maintaining consistency between the function, information and dynamics models that make up the enterprise architecture. In the dynamics modeling approach adopted in IFEM, the process sequence for a particular entity is not included in the dynamics model, but treated as a data input to it, thus facilitating the modeling of data-driven processes that make up a CIM system.

arrow85.gif (1760 bytes) Back