Project planning for factory automation

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High wages, international competition, and market demands for better quality, more diverse, and lower cost products are pushing many United States manufacturing companies to adopt and integrate new technologies into their factories, technologies that include both non-computerized systems--just-in-time (JIT) and group technology (GT)--and computerized capabilities (robotics, lasers, flexible manufacturing systems). But acquiring, installing, and implementing these technologies is a venture that is both complex and expensive--and one that often leads to failure because many companies adopt technologies without first planning how they will use these systems. This article examines a generic planning process for integrating new technologies into factory environments, a process that involves both implementing the technologies and planning the strategy needed to implement these technologies effectively and efficiently.
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