Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Glossary Terms
Terms that are used on the Manufacturing Automation website


A program that translates symbolic source code (written in assembly
language) into machine instructions (in machine code) by replacing
symbolic operation codes with binary operation codes, and symbolic
addresses with absolute or relocatable addresses.


A relationship between entities or data elements in a logical data model.

Asynchronous computer

a computer providing operations that are not timed by a master clock.
The signal to start an operation is provided by the completion of some

Asynchronous Scanning

A scanning arrangement where two scans (I/O and user program) operate
independently of each other with no synchronization, so that any
relative timing between the two scans is totally random.


Asynchronous transfer mode; a communications standard


A means of characterizing data on a display device (e.g. intensifying, blinking).


In an SLC controller, the process of transferring contents of the memory module to the processor memory at power up.


1) The conversion to and implementation of procedures, processes or
equipment by automated means.
2) Industrial open or closed-loop control
system in which manual operation of controls is replaced by servo

Axial Load

A load applied along or parallel to and concentric with the primary axis.


Any movable part of a machine or system that requires controlled
motion. Several axes of motion can be combined in a coordinated
multiaxis system.


a wiring board, usually constructed as a printed circuit, used to
provide the required connections between logic, memory and I/O modules.


range (usually Hertz) over which a system operates.

Bar coding

an automatic identification technology that encodes data in a printed
pattern of varying-width bars and spaces, in accordance with
pre-determined rules.

Base Speed

Base speed is the manufacturer’s nameplate rating where the motor will
develop rated power at rated load and voltage. With dc drives, it is
commonly the point where full armature voltage is applied with
full-rated field excitation. With ac systems, it is commonly the point
where 60Hz is applied to the induction motor.


Beginner’s All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code, a simple programming language widely used for personal computers.

Batch manufacturing

the technique of manufacturing parts or finished goods in groups, lots,
or batches in which each part or finished good in the batch is

Batch processing

is the method adopted when the required product volumes do not allow
continuous production of one product on particular machines.

Batch production

refers to the lot size of identical parts produced in a factory. Batch
production is the method adopted when the required product volumes are
not adequate to permit continuous production of one product on
dedicated machines.


A unit of data transmission speed equal to the number of bits (or signal events) per second; 300 baud = 300 bits per second.

Baud rate

a measure of the signalling speed in a digital communication system.


A fixed point of reference or a standard for comparison, used to
achieve excellence within the manufacturing firm; an outstanding
example, appropriate for use as a model.


An improvement process in which a company or organization compares its
performance against best-in-class companies or organizations,
determines how those companies or organizations achieved their
performance levels, and uses the information to improve its own
performance. The subjects that can be benchmarked include strategies,
products/programs/services, operations, processes and procedures.

Bill of material

A listing of all the subassemblies, parts, and raw materials that go into a parent assembly.


Refers to base 2 numbering system, in which the only allowable digits
are 0 and 1. Pertaining to a condition that has only two possible
values or states.

Binary code

A representation of information using a sequence of zeros and ones. The basis for calculations in all digital computers.


Acronym for basic input/output system. The commands used to tell a CPU how it will communicate with the rest of the computer.


A digit in binary notation, e.g., 0 or 1.

Block diagram

An illustration in which essential units of any system are drawn in the
form of blocks and their relationship(s) to each other are indicated by
appropriate interconnecting lines. (2) In computer programming or
business/manufacturing process flow(s), a graphical representation of
data processing or workflow within a system.


1) A printed-circuit board.
2) A printed-circuit-board assembly
?? in the sense that the (printed-circuit) board is physically the
main component of a printed-circuit-board assembly.


The natural limits of a process, defined as where the process begins and where the process ends.


LAN Uses frequency division multiplexing to divide a single physical
channel into a number of smaller, independent frequency channels to be
used to transfer different forms of information.


A conductor, usually composed of some element of carbon, serving to
maintain an electrical connection between stationary and moving parts
of a machine (i.e.,commutator of a dc motor). This brush is mounted in
a spring-loaded holder and positioned tangent to the commutator
segments against which it "brushes." Pairs of brushes are equally
spaced around the circumference of the commutator.