مدل سازی اطلاعات تجاری برای یکپارچه سازی فرآیند در صنعت ساخت قالب
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|22616||2007||13 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||7708 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Robotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing, Volume 23, Issue 2, April 2007, Pages 195–207
Driven by industrial needs and enabled by the latest information technology, enterprise integration has rapidly shifted from information integration to process integration for performance excellence in the entire business process. This paper reports on the modeling of a business information model which enables mold making companies to achieve business process integration. The needs of process integration in mold making companies are first highlighted. Typical mold making business processes are analyzed and four critical business processes to be integrated are identified. Further, a process-oriented business information model is proposed, which associates business information entities to meet the needs of all business processes. Based on the model, the integration of four critical business processes is investigated, which enables seamless information flows to streamline the business processes, maximize information sharing across the business processes and achieve the automation and concurrency of the business processes. Finally, the implementation and benefits to industry of the system derived from the developed information model is presented.
In the past decades, various computer-aided software systems, such as computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided process planning (CAPP) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), have been widely adopted by companies to improve business performance in terms of productivity, flexibility, quality and utilization of resources . However, a survey  of 18 companies reveals that not all of the technologies perform as well as expected and some even lead to a total failure. Some companies complain that their business performances are not improved though the adopted technologies function well. According to our study, some of the main reasons causing these situations are highlighted as follows: • Incompatible proprietary information models underneath different systems restrain the ability of information sharing and exchange . • The lack of integration breaks down information flows and fragmentizes business processes. As a result, the performance improvement of individual activities does not contribute to the overall performance of an enterprise. • The limited flexibility of adopted systems restricts the changes of business practices to gain new business opportunities. • Individual systems are selected and implemented based on the initiatives of individual departments rather than the common goal of the enterprise. • Each department highlights its importance and competes for investment to adopt new systems or upgrade existing systems. This leads to the difficulty in the utilization of investment to achieve the most optimal technology deployment . • Too much emphasis is focused on the technologies and human beings are improperly ignored . Nowadays, enterprise integration gains much attention and is widely recognized as an effective means to improve the business performance . Two methods exist to achieve enterprise integration: information integration and process integration. Information integration is to build up a fundamental information infrastructure, with new information technologies incorporated, to make information exchangeable between computer applications . Information integration achieves information exchangeability by transforming information from proprietary formats to neutral formats and representing various information entities according to common standards. Though information integration enables information sharing between different applications, its shortcomings are obvious. Some of the main ones are listed as follows: • The success of information integration too much relies on the openness of applications and the maturity of various standards. • It often requires end users to do additional work to export information in neutral formats for exchange. • Sometimes, the coexistence of multiple duplications of the same piece of information is inevitable as different applications still have their own databases. The difficulty in information synchronization stands out. • The common goal of an enterprise could not be clearly highlighted as information integration usually takes place between different pairs of applications rather than among all applications at once. • Internal competition for technology upgrading among different departments may still exist since information integration only focuses on some applications . Recently, enterprise integration has been rapidly evolving from information integration to process integration as process integration promises to position individual performance initiatives under a process umbrella to maximize the overall performance and boost operating results . It looks into all the activities of an enterprise and enables the enterprise to work as a whole towards a common goal. Therefore, enterprises have the opportunity to improve cooperation, coordination and communication, to link functions with information, resources, applications and people, and to streamline material, information and control flows throughout the business cycle . The optimal resource utilization can be achieved to gain the maximum profit. As such, process integration has gained the focus of enterprises intending to enhance productivity and agility . In the modern business paradigm, companies can be clustered into two groups: (1) master companies, which outsource their work to other companies; and (2) partner companies, which are driven by customer orders from master companies. Mold making companies, which are typically small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), usually act as partners of molding companies, which are usually large companies  and . They design and produce molds for molding companies to manufacture molding products. As the market lifecycle of products becomes shorter, the time for mold making companies to design and produce molds also shrinks remarkably. To improve competitiveness, many mold making companies are seeking solutions to improve their working efficiency. As such, this paper intends to develop a business information model for process integration in the mold making industry to streamline the business activities and maximize the overall performance.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The product market lifecycle becomes shorter and, accordingly, mold making companies have to shorten their business cycle to provide a rapid response to customers. At present, various software systems adopted by mold making companies work independently and manage information in different databases. As a result, various types of information cannot be seamlessly linked together to form continuous information flows to support enterprise-wide information sharing and business process integration. In this paper, the needs of mold making companies to integrate business processes have been highlighted and four critical business processes, which are order fulfillment, design, production and material fulfillment, have been identified and analyzed. A business information model has been developed to support the integration of the four critical business processes. This model is clustered into four sub-models, which are integrated through the associations of the key information objects. Based on the developed information model, the integration of the critical business processes has been proposed. The system implementation has also been presented in terms of platform selection, architecture design and system functions. With the business information model, various types of information can be shared and exchanged across different business processes. Duplications of information can be avoided to achieve the information consistency and integrity. With smooth information flows, collaboration between different people from different departments can be enhanced and well managed, and the automation of business processes can be achieved. By enhancing internal collaboration and coordination, the improvement from the business process integration enabled by the information model occurs in overall business effectiveness, rather than simply in individual departments. At present, much work is needed to redesign and redevelop functions in the customization of a solution for business process integration in companies. This customization leads to a long deployment cycle and high implementation cost, which are well-known barriers for SMEs to adopt such a solution. Due to the high failure rate of implementation, even some large companies are skeptical towards business process integration. Some of the key factors that are commonly recognized includes: (1) information cannot be effectively associated together according to business rules to support various activities; (2) unnecessary information duplication makes it difficult to maintain information consistency and integrity; and (3) software systems cannot be flexibly adaptive to business rules of targeted companies. To address these issues, our research in general has been focused on the method for designing and developing a flexible enterprise system for SMEs to achieve process integration. This paper reports the results achieved at the first stage, which include the process model typically practiced in the mold making industry, process-oriented business object model and integration architecture. In the future, the focus will be on the semantic model-driven technologies for representations of process flows, activities models, business rules (such as semantic cost estimation model) to further improve the extensibility and flexibility of process-oriented systems. The ultimate objectives of our research are to minimize redesign and redevelopment in customizing process-oriented systems to improve the success rate and maximize customer benefits.