Manufacturing Extracting, processing, and manufacturing all utilize the latest technology to improve both effectiveness and efficiency. Geologists use satellite imagery to explore the earth’s surface, a device that measures small changes in the earth’s gravity that might indicate oil flow, equipment to detect minuscule changes in the earth’s magnetic field that could mean major mineral deposits, computer equipment that can identify the scent of oil, and seismographic equipment that sends out sound waves and analyzes them. (Sound passes through different material in different ways; once a computer is programmed with the identification pattern for sound through oil, for example, the seismograph can identify oil deposits.) Processors use ICT to automate their methods of operation. Automation uses machines programmed to do a specific task, such as mix a batch of dough, or empty a conveyor belt at a specific point. When these machines are controlled by computers, it is called cybernation. You will recall Rita’s bakery. It was automated: no one was directly involved in baking the bread, only in loading the finished products onto the trucks. Automated Services Businesses that produce services can automate as well. For example, overnight parcel delivery companies unload their planes in one central hub, and use a computerized routing system that reads each of the computer codes on every package and sends them through a system of conveyor belts. Suppose you sent a package from Toronto to your Aunt Janie in Ottawa.
Introduction to Business BBI2O-B Lesson 13, page 11 Copyright © 2008 The Ontario Educational Communications Authority. All rights reserved. Your package would be coded, sent to Atlanta, put on a conveyor belt after it has been programmed to open the chute when it gets to the Canada gate. The chute directs the mail onto another conveyor belt destined for the Ottawa belt, which divides the parcels into specific bins coded with Ottawa postal codes. The bins are loaded onto a plane and sent to Ottawa. The entire process takes less than an hour. Manufacturing uses automation and cybernation as well. Many repetitive tasks are performed by machines instructed by computers to heat, package, mix, rivet, cut, shape, and so on. Automation also performs delicate or difficult tasks that humans cannot perform, such as intricate laser cutting, working in extremes of cold or heat, examining metal for tiny flaws, and other tasks that flesh-and-blood employees cannot do. Inventory Control One ICT task that all parts of production have come to rely on is inventory control. Computerized inventory-control systems (you read about just-in-time inventory-control systems in Lesson 6) keep track of what is on hand, what is being used, and what is needed. The factory’s computers are networked to those of the suppliers, and communicate directly with them.
- Summer '19
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