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System provides graphics for entire factory.

A line of hardware and software modules introduced recently by Computervision Corp, Bedford, MA, Takes a major step toward the paperless factory by providing relatively inexpensive electronic graphic and alphanumeric links--from a common CAD/CAM data base--between personnel in shop operation, design engineering, production engineering, and production management.

Called Factoryvision, the system is an extension of Computervision's newly announced Series CDS 3000 line of intelligent, 32-bit, fully configured and packaged workstations for computer-aided engineering, design, and manufacturing (CAE/CAD/CAM).

The main hardware elements in Factoryvision (see drawing) are the CDS 3901 central processing unit with 19" monochrome screen, and the Model FVT 100 view-only terminal with keyboard and monochrome screen. By means of a multiplexer interface, you can connect up to 16 FVT 100s to the CDS 3901. Instant access, factory-wide

In effect, Factoryvision provides shop floor personnel, designers, and production personnel with instant access to up-to-date drawings, lists, schedules, instructions, and other graphic and symbolic data stored in the CDS 3901's memory. Use of Factoryvision therefore helps to minimize the need for paper drawings and other documents, reduces errors and scrap, and in general boosts productivity.

Then, too, use of the system aids machine operators and other production personnel in functions such as understanding compelx NC operations, planning and checking fixture design and layout, verifying tool paths, and checking setups, schedules, and procedures.

With the proper machine interface devices connected, you can use an FVT 100 terminal as a data link between the CDS 3901 and a DNC machine. The interface device can control Xon-Xoff, feeding postprocessed NC data to the machine at a controlled rate. In most cases, the interface is provided with local data-storage capability. The range of data transmission speeds is 300 to 9600 baud. Many uses in shops.

Computervision sees Factoryvision terminals as aids for operators of CNC and DNC machining centers, turning centers, coordinate measuring machines, punch presses, fabricating centers, and other stand-alones. The new system will also likely find application in multi-unit, flexible cells and systems for machining, forming, assembly, and other functions.

According to John Langley, product manager for Factoryvision most prospective users have expressed preference for fiber-optic links between the central CDS 3901 and FVT 100 terminals on the shop floor. Double twisted-pair wire can also be used, however, and Computervision is developing hardware and software that will permit dropline connection to broadband local-area network cable.

The FVT 100 is a view-only monochrome terminal with zoom and scroll capabilities. Equipped with a detachable keyboard as standard, each terminal can be serviced by a printer, plotter, or tape punch/read machine. Two terminal designs

Terminals intended for shop floor use--called production terminals--come with the screen protected by a Plexiglas shield, and with an optional sealed keyboard. Terminals for office use--called office professional terminals--have the characteristics of office equipment.

The company offers two software modules for Factoryvision: a planning and administrative (P&A) module, and a production module. Using the P&A module, the system manager can perform administrative and maintenance functions. Other office-area users can view and maintain graphic, text, and project information through simple menu selections.

By means of the production module, users on the shop floor can not only view data downloaded from the CDS 3901, but can also generate reports, graphs, compilations, and other electronic documents for uploading to the system files,

With proper clearance and access codes, machine operators can review and revise NC codes on the FVT 100.

Data-collection devices on the shop floor such as bar-code readers and magnetic-stripe readers can be connected directly to any FVT 100 terminal. The data thus collected can be viewed, edited, and compiled on the shop floor before being uploaded to the CDS 3901.

The price of a Factoryvision system installed will depend on its size and complexity, but generally speaking, a system with 16 FVT 100 terminals and both software modules is priced under $10,000 per seat.

For full details on Factoryvision and CDS 300 CAE/CAD/CAM systems, circle E10.
COPYRIGHT 1984 Nelson Publishing
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Tooling & Production
Date:Jul 1, 1984
Previous Article:Introduction to local-area networks.
Next Article:Flexible machining systems to make Army vehicle parts.

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