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Term Definition

The standard for local communications networks developed jointly by Digital Equipment Corp., Xerox, and Intel. Ethernet baseband coaxial cable transmits data at speeds up to 10 megabits per second. Ethernet is used as the underlying transport vehicle by several upper-level protocols, including TCP/IP.

Expert system

software that applies knowledge and reasoning techniques that involve rules and heuristics to solve problems normally requiring the abilities of human experts.


A three- or four- sided polygon element that represents a piece of a 3D polygonal mesh model. Triangular facets are used in STL files.


A person knowledgeable in process improvement, problem solving and group dynamics who assists teams and team leaders by serving as coach, communicator, coordinator, promoter and teacher as needed.

Fault tolerance

the ability to execute tasks regardless of the failure of strategic components.
Feedback The return of part of the output of a machine, process, or system to the computer as input for another phase, especially for self-correction or control purposes.


fiber distributed data interface; a communications standard for networks


A method that "precompensates" a control loop for known errors due to motor, drive, or load characteristics to improve response. It depends only on the command, not the measured error.


See Free-Form Fabrication.

Fiber optics

a data transmission medium using light conducted through glass or plastic fibers. A fiber-optic cable has cores capable of conducting modulated light signals by internal reflection.


The predetermined section of a record that contains a specific portion of information.


a standard for digital communications between field devices and their control systems. Devices include flow, temperature, and pressure sensors and actuators of valves and motors.


facilities information management

Finite scheduling

Scheduling software that takes into account that manufacturing resources-such as production capacity-are finite. Other constraints might include personnel, regulatory pressures, or materials, as in traditional MRP II.

Flexible automation

The ability to switch quickly from one product to another by shortening setup times.

Flexible manufacturing system

integrates combinations of various types of capital equipment, primarily in metal-cutting applications. A system is flexible if it is capable of processing a number of different work-pieces simultaneously and automatically, with the machines in the system carrying out the system??s operation in any sequence.

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