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Term Definition
Flow Rate

Actual speed or velocity of fluid movement .


automated mapping and facilities management


Flexible Machine Centre is usually an automated system comprising CNC machines, with robots loading and unloading parts conveyed into and through the system.


See Flexible manufacturing system.


Systems that predict levels of weekly or monthly product activity over a time horizon, typically two years. General availability of PCs and user-friendly application programs mean forecasting can be done by educated generalists, particularly those with the best understanding of the factors impacting demand.


FORmula TRANslation is a procedure-oriented programming language used to solve engineering, mathematical and scientific problems.

Free-Form Fabrication

Another (perhaps more descriptive) name for Rapid Prototyping.


The number of recurrences of a periodic phenomenon in a unit of time, usually electronically specified in hertz (Hz)??i.e., one cycle per second equals one hertz.

Front end

Shorthand term for the operator interface or application-specific aspects of a program.

Function (1)

The characteristic actions, operations, or kind of work a person or thing is supposed to perform, e.g., the engineering function or the material-handling function. (2) The operation called for in a computer software instruction.

Fuzzy logic

a method used to model linguistic expressions that have non-binary truth values. It has been used with PID algorithms in process control, especially where process relationships are non-linear.


The force of acceleration due to gravity equal to 32.1739 ft/sec2 or 386 in./sec2.


A measuring device or measuring instrument.


The ratio of the magnitude of the output signal with respect to that of the input signal.

Gain error

The "gain" of an analog input or output is the scale factor that provides the nominal conversion relationship. Typically, this is the slope of the line when analog voltage or current is plotted versus the corresponding digital values. Gain error is the deviation of the scale factor or slope of the line from the ideal or nominal gain value. Gain error is expressed in percent of the input or output value.

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