Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Glossary Terms
Terms that are used on the Manufacturing Automation website

C, C+, C++

a high-level language that can be used in application software.


Computer-Aided Design is the use of high-resolution graphics in a wide
range of design activities, allowing quick evaluation and modification.


Computer-Aided Engineering is the analysis of a design for basic error-checking, or to optimize manufacturability.


the process of determining the capacity or scale graduations of a measuring instrument.


Computer-Aided Manufacturing is the use of computer technology to
generate data to control part or all of a manufacturing process.


Controller area network


Computer-Aided Process Planning is a management framework for data that
assists the functions of process planning in manufacturing.


Computer-Aided Software Engineering is the use of object-oriented
programming and other techniques to streamline generation of
programming code.


Compact-Disc, Read-Only Memory systems use digitized multimedia signals
to recreate text, video, and graphics. A data-storage medium using the
same physical format as audio compact discs. CD-ROM is popular for
distribution of large databases, software, and especially multimedia

Cell control

a manufacturing unit consisting of two or more workstations or machines
and the materials, transport mechanisms and storage buffers that
interconnect them.
Changeover time The time required to modify a
system or workstation, usually including both tear-down time for the
existing condition and set-up time for the new condition. Typically
associated with a switch to new product.


Computer-Integrated Manufacturing is the increased integration of
business and manufacturing functions through application of information
technology; the use of computers in all aspects of manufacturing, with
integration of functions and control in a hierarchy of computer systems.


a communications path between two points.

Circuit Switching

A method of establishing a dedicated communications path between two or
more locations through one or more switching nodes. Data is sent in a
continuous stream; the data rate is constant; the delay is constant and
limited to propagation times; and a dedicated end to end path remains
in effect until the communication is terminated.

Circular interpolation

Coordination of two independent motion axes to produce an apparent
circular motion. It’s done through a series of straight line
approximations via software algorithms.


a user’s workstation in a client/server architecture. The client serves
as a user interface processing time-consuming tasks to distribute the
computing load from the server.

Client-Server Network

A network that uses a central computer (server) to store data that is accessed from other computers on the network (clients).

Client/server architecture

an approach to co-operative processing, where the functions of an
application are shared between multiple computers on a network.


The term applied to the phenomenon which occurs when an output signal
is limited in some way by the full range of an amplifier, ADC or other
device. When this occurs, the signal is flattened at the peak values,
the signal approaches the shape of a square wave, and high frequency
components are introduced. Clipping may be hard, as is the case when
the signal is strictly limited at some level; or it may be soft, in
which case the clipping signal continues to follow the input at some
reduced gain.


loop control -any system in which part of the output is fed back to the
input to effect a regulatory action, and in which the controlled
quantity is measured and compared with a standard representing the
desired performance. Any deviation from the standard is fed back into
the control system in such a sense as to reduce the deviation.

Closeness of Control

Total temperature variation from a desired set point of system.
Expressed as "closeness of control" is ±2?C or a system
bandwidth with 4?C, also referred to as amplitude of deviation.


Computer Numerical Control allows the control of motion in an accurate
and programmable manner through use of a dedicated computer within a
numerical control unit, with a capability of local data input such that
machine tools are freed from the need for "hard-wired" controllers.

Coaxial cable

a physical network medium that offers large bandwidth and the ability
to support high data rates with immunity to electrical interference and
a low incidence of errors.


Common Business Oriented Language is a programming language commonly used for data processing.

Colour Code

The ANSI established colour code for thermocouple wires in the negative
lead is always red. Colour Code for base metal thermocouples is yellow
for Type K, black for Type J, purple for Type E and blue for Type T.


Component object model

Common Cause

Predictable normal random variation present in every process due to the combination of existing inputs.

Common Mode

The output form or type of control action used by a temperature
controller to control temperature, i.e. on/off, time proportioning, PID.

Common Mode Rejection Ratio

The ability of an instrument to reject interference from a common
voltage at its input terminals with relation to ground. Usually
expressed in db (decibels).

Communication link

the mechanism for information transmission.


Sequential excitation of motor windings to maintain the relative phase
angle between the rotor and stator magnetic fields, within specified
limits, to control motor output. In brush dc motors, this function is
accomplished by a mechanical commutator and carbon brushes; in
brushless motors, it’s done electronically using rotor position


the ability for two devices to communicate together of software to run on a particular hardware platform.

Compensating Alloys

Alloys used to connect thermocouples to Instrumentation. These alloys
are selected to have similar thermal electric properties as the
thermocouple alloys (however, only over a very limited temperature