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Why Cim?

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.1161.1 - 6.1161.5

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J. Tim Coppinger

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Carl Steidley

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1520

Why CIM?*

By Dr. J. Tim Coppinger and Dr. Carl Steidley Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

Abstract Why computer integrated manufacturing (CIM)? CIM brings together components that are typically studied individually over a wide range of disciplines into an integrated system. Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is developing a CIM cell that will meet the needs of two Computer Science courses and nine Engineering Technology courses. The courses include Manufacturing Processes, Design of Machine Elements, Principles of Measurements, Programmable Logic Controllers, Control Systems, Capstone Projects, Systems Programming, and System Analysis and Design.

The Mechanical Engineering Technology students benefit from the study of mechanical components, the design of tooling and fixtures, the selection of material handling equipment, pneumatic actuators and clamps, and the relationship of material selection to the manufacturing process.

The Control Systems Engineering Technology students study the use of sensors, data acquisition, actuators, networking of equipment, robot controllers, programmable logic controllers, and the communication of the cell with overall factory operations.

The Computer Science students will focus on the development of controlling algorithms, cell control, user interfaces, networking, and the manipulation and analysis of the data collected.

The manufacture of a product will necessitate the use of interdisciplinary teams of Computer Science, Engineering Technology and other students in their capstone projects classes.

The conclusion is that computer integrated manufacturing can be the focal point of study for many disciplines at many different levels.

Philosophy The traditional way of teaching a technical subject is to strip away all superfluous distractions and concentrate on a single issue. This is seen in the design of laboratory equipment that can perform one or a small number of very focused exercises. While this is very beneficial in introducing a concept, it leaves the student with islands of knowledge and limited understanding of how the concept is used in the real world. By introducing the student to an integrated system it is hoped that they will gain an understanding of the context of the educational principles involved as well as an appreciation of the integration issues.

*This work is funded in part by the Army Research Office contract # DAAD19-00-1-0526

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition Copyright © 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Coppinger, J. T., & Steidley, C. (2001, June), Why Cim? Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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