Today, enterprises use different kinds of
computers in many combinations. A corporate headquarters may have a standard
PC-based network, for example, but its
production facilities may use computer controlled robotics to manufacture products.
Here are just a few ways computers are
applied to industry:
. Nearly any company that designs and makes products can use a
computer-aided design or computer-aided manufacturing system in their
creation (see Fig. 1
Fig. 1: Importance of Computers in Industry
. Freight companies need computers to manage the thousands of
ships, planes, trains, and trucks that are moving goods at any given moment.
In addition to tracking vehicle locations and contents, computers can manage
maintenance, driver schedules, invoices and billing, and many other activities.
» Process Control
. Modem assembly lines can be massive, complex systems,
and a breakdown at one point can cause chaos throughout a company. Sophisticated process-control systems can oversee output, check the speed at
which a machine runs, manage conveyance systems, and look at parts inventories, with very little human interaction.