Inherent to the threat of stiff international competition in manufacturing is a greater need for reduced costs, improved productivity, the obtainment of consistently high product quality and the demand for better and more timely management information. These needs can be met with the use of highly automated manufacturing operations. Integrated automation control systems are the key to increased productivity and product quality. Integrated automation is that missing link of technology which goes beyond the control of individual machines. Independent units of production must be made to work together to become successful automation projects.
The key to providing a successful integrated system solution is based on three principles: (1) Top-down planning with bottom-up implementation; (2) A vendor project management team working in conjunction with the customer team; and, (3) Integrated systems solutions built on experience.