Production monitoring—A proven productivity tool

D. W. Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Production executives in modern factories are concerned with standards, real production and schedule maintenance, and with having early foresight into problem areas. The use of digital computers in the factory has for many years been largely divided between “closed-loop control” and “data processing” (DP), but today there is a growing need for “closed-loop information control” (CLIC). This paper describes a system for implementation of this concept using exclusively industry-standard hardware, and its application within smaller industrial operations rather than the industrial giants (although their need may indeed be greater). For many such smaller companies, production monitoring may be a first venture into CIM. Rather than “control” or “data” being the key, “information” is the cornerstone of the system described. The word “information” conjures up a variety of ideas in its normal use, but a visit to a real factory forces a closer look at its meaning, if the CLIC concept is to be even worth considering. Repeatable and verifiable data sources are very difficult to obtain on the factory floor. Physical compatibility is a real concern, because equipment that operates in the usual controlled DP environment is not usually reliable on the factory floor. The operating conditions demanded by much to today's DP equipment preclude heat, vibration, electromagnetic interference and the generally hostile conditions which are prevalent in many factories. Consequently, any factory-floor system is fraught with unique problems all the way from data capture, through communications, into efficient data structures and meaningful graphic presentation. This paper describes such a system and summarises its effect on productivity as proven by application in several factories in the US and Canada.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-348
Number of pages14
JournalThe International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1989

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Software
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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