51.One of the reasons mass production techniques lost favor is that, despite their ability to keep costs relatively low, mass production lacks flexibility.
52.The ability to integrate computers into the design and manufacture of products has had the greatest impact on production techniques in recent years.
53.CAD/CAM has made it possible to custom-design products to meet the tastes of small markets with very little increase in costs.
54.CAD systems allow designers to work in three dimensions.
55.Despite its early promise, computer-aided design has not met with much success in increasing productivity.
56.The purpose of computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM) is to unite computer-aided design with computer-aided manufacturing.
57.The advantage of computer integrated manufacturing software is that it allows computer aided design machines to communicate directly with computer aided manufacturing machines.
58.So far, the high cost of CAD/CAM techniques has limited their use to large, expensive manufactured goods such as automobiles.
59.Flexible manufacturing systems use machines that are designed to do a multitude of tasks so that they can produce a variety of goods.
60.A disadvantage of flexible manufacturing systems is that they usually require a great deal of labor because machines are rarely capable of handling a wide variety of tasks.