CIM plays a vital role
Automation and shop floor control are directly responsible for the control of each step in the manufacturing process.
Computer integrated manufacturing (CIM) is a vital piece of this layer because it provides in its controlling layers a generic view of the manufacturing process. The architectures for CIM have to be flexible to manage the rapid changes for the factory floor.
This idea is CIM can make up the difference in what the manufacturing execution system (MES, which operates at the next level up from CIM) lacks. CIM is often a framework or glue that allows legacy systems to communicate and interoperate on the shop floor.
Through the framework, the factory floor can be isolated against changes in the MES. The work cell controllers play an important role as well at this level by forming clusters of equipment that appear as one piece of equipment.
They typically hide the details held within the cluster, thus simplifying the view the MES or supervisory control and data acquisition system, or SCADA, has of it.
At this level, we also have to keep in mind we have a variety of clients-machine, operator, engineer, and supervisor.