How important Computer Aided Integration Manufacturing (CIM) in productivity and product development?

Additional question:
Is CIM a hardware or software (integrated to CAD software)?

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When I was in school; CIM encompassed a large group of manufacturing activities, including: process design, ERP, scheduling, CAM (NC machining), assembly (robotics), CMM (inspection), etc. Whatever your definition is, it's hard to imagine manufacturing without the use of computers today.

 
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