Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Glossary Terms
Terms that are used on the Manufacturing Automation website


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.

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.