1. Overview
  2. This manual provides background material for an introductory course in modern design and manufacturing methodology. It demonstrates ways to increase profitability by applying modern design tools and procedures.

    It includes a discussion of gradual introduction of computer assisted design (CAD) and computer assisted manufacturing (CAM) technology in a small, fictional, secondary wood-products manufacturing operation.

  3. Goals
  4. The course goals are to increase your company's overall operational efficiency and to save you money. Participants will learn new ways to look at their own manufacturing processes.

    Computer Integrated Manufacture (CIM) has been sold as a way to lower the costs of manufacturing by downsizing or eliminating labor force, replace working people with depreciable machines (especially with flexible manufacturing systems based on programmable multi-functional robotic manufacturing cells (FMS)). Because cell cost is high, and manufacturing technology can become obsolescent earlier than anticipated, the promised cost savings have not always materialized. At the same time, the social impact of this strategy can be substantial. In my lifetime, I have watched a nearly complete shift from a production based economy to a service based economy and watched machinery replace working people again and again.

  5. Vision
  6. This Design Manual offers an alternate vision: the use of machines to facilitate communication between people at all levels of the organization. Increasing the effectiveness of labor is a more humane and sustainable path to increased profitability than merely lowering or eliminating the cost of labor. The goal is to reduce the per unit shipped labor cost by "working smart".

    This course will provide a realistic look at the cost and the benefits available through the use of PC's running "off the shelf" CAD, Time Management, and Information Management software to organize your business information. It also provides a glimpse of the technology of the very near future, and arguments why it is important to get skills and information in place now so you will be ready to use it as soon as it is available in this area.

  7. Summary of design manual contents
  8. Ultimately the Design Process begins with subjective information. It begins with a hunch that a market exists for a new or improved product. In an effort to validate this hunch, additional subjective information about the product is collected from potential customers. Through the Design Process, the collection of information is structured to allow useful information, in the form of a product specification, to be developed.