IMT Custom Machine Company, Inc.
Custom Machine Company Inc. (CMCI), a subsidiary of International Machine & Tools, operates two plants in Ft. Wayne and Chicago. These plants have played a game of patch-up and catch-up with their information technology. Hardware and software developed for one specific purpose often ends up serving several other different uses. In late 1998, it became apparent that the information technology – specifically the process control software and mainframes – has been stretched too thin, and needs updating and revising before the shortcomings of these systems reach a crisis level affecting production.
These two facilities need to consolidate systems and work flow in a highly managed IT environment. Charles Browning, a staff engineer tasked with uncovering major IT issues by Darrin Young the Vice President and division manager, suggested a move away from reliance on the mainframes towards a workstation-centered environment. With the lease on the S/390 mainframe nearly expired, this is the best time to move in this direction. The MIS department should move all the CAD work to RS/4000 workstations, while keeping the AS/400 mainframe to control work flow and track production progress. The entire process could be controlled by a process control database system running on the mainframe. Keeping the AS/400 mainframe will also place CMCI in the best position to fulfill the new requirements from IMT headquarters to use UNIX.
The initial costs in this redevelopment will be centered in: • Redevelopment of the project tracking system.
• Acquisition of new RS/4000 workstations for the Ft. Wayne CAD users. • Migration of data from the S/390 to the AS/400, and into the new project tracking system. • Training the employees and support personnel on the new systems.
After this redevelopment and migration is complete, the long-term result will be lowered operating costs due...