The objective of this project is to provide a set of tools and a methodology to support the implementation of CIM in SMEs.
The project will develop and evaluate five prototype elements:
- a requirement workbench, consisting of a worksheet and toolbox to model a manufacturing enterprise, its objectives and its CIM requirements, and to produce a specification of these requirements
- a solution workbench, consisting of a template assembly module to convert the CIM specification into a vendor-independent template and vendor specific solution, and a product configuration module to configure existing CIM products to match the template
- a configuration auditor, to compare the capability and effectiveness of the CIM specification and solution against the SME's business objectives and CIM requirements
- a user interface monitor generator, to provide a means to develop standardised user interfaces
- a computer-assisted CIM implementation methodology, to encapsulate and describe the most effective use of the system
An integrated prototype will be created and executed in the end-user site.
The system will enable CIM designers to develop a profile of the client SME, perform a business simulation, evaluate the resulting CIM options, and create a specification for the required CIM solution. A CIM vendor will be able to use the system to design a solution, configure CIM software to meet the individual SME's specification, and audit the specification using simulation type tools.
The project will develop company-independent prototype tools which adhere to the guidelines set down in the X-OPEN Portability Guide (XPG3). The prototype platform will be PCs or intelligent workstations running under Unix. The software will be written in C or C++ and will run on a relational database software with an SQL interface.