Badri Narasimhan

Flexibility in production, fewer bottlenecks on the shopfloor and maximum utilization of resources are some of the major goals of an enterprise. To eliminate factors that hinder attainment of these goals, the operations in the enterprise need to be studied in a systematic manner. All opportunities to improve the performance of the enterprise must be explored. Computer-Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) must be evaluated as a valid option to compete successfully in the global market. A detailed analysis of the enterprise operations from design to product delivery should be conducted.

To thoroughly utilize opportunities for improvement in an enterprise, information must be presented in a comprehensive manner. Representation of operations in an enterprise and the interaction between these operations in a graphical format would contribute towards providing an understandable model of the enterprise. Such a model enables analysis of the enterprise (identification of bottlenecks, scope for improvement, etc.), and also makes it equally understandable both to the management and to the engineer. It serves as an architecture in which all relevant aspects of an enterprise are depicted. In this research endeavor, operations in yarn and fabric manufacturing enterprises have been studied, and function and information models have been developed. These two architectures have been compared with the apparel manufacturing architecture and a domain-independent architecture has been developed.

The domain-independent architecture is used to represent manufacturing in three domains, viz., yarn, fabric and garment manufacturing. Through database implementation of the domain-independent architecture, it is shown that such an architecture can indeed be proposed for information management in a manufacturing enterprise. Thus a systems approach to analysis of enterprise operations will enable an enterprise to effectively implement techniques such as CIM and automation.

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