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This programme examines Standard Telephone's and Cables' use of a data base to control the manufacture of complex telecommunications equipment.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: M352, Computer based information systems
Item code: M352; 03
First transmission date: 13-04-1980
Published: 1980
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:30
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Producer: John Richmond
Contributors: David Eggleton; Jan Konarek; Christine Warner
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Assembly work; Basildon; Resistors; Standard telephones and cables; Telephone switching equipment
Footage description: Christine Warner introduces the programme from outside the Transmission Division of Standard Telephones and Cables (S.T.C.) at Basildon in Essex. She describes the kind of equipment made there and explains that the programme will examine the STC data base used in the manufacturing process. David Eggleton, Data Processing Manager, shows us a typical STC product - a rack of telecommunications switching gear. He explains that each shelf within the rack is made up of a series of cards, each card having a number of components. Using film animation he states the nature of the data processing problem presented by such a complex product. He explains that the data-base used to control the manufacturing process has five constituents - orders; product routing; work-in-hand; cost. Each of these will be dealt with in the rest of the programme. Film of the small components that make up a card and of the stores where they are kept. In voice over Warner explains why each part is numbered. Film of parts being selected from a computer print-out list. Film of parts being soldered onto a card. Warner explains how the STC data base controls the whole process by dividing all components into different levels of assembly. Over both animation and VDU displays Warner explains how product data is stored in the data base to keep track of where each component was obtained and used. Diagrams show how data about different levels of assembly is interrelated in the data base. She takes us through a detailed example, showing how information about components of varying degrees of complexity is stored in the computer. A VDU display shows what parts a piece of equipment is composed of, and in what other equipment it is itself used. Factory manager Jan Konarek explains how the system enables him to trace faulty components. An example of the USED-ON facility is displayed on a VDU. Konarek explains how faulty components are recalled Warner emphasises the importance of the 'where-used' facility over shots of print-out lists of components Film of various assembly operations. Warner describes how the process of manufacture is guided by the 'assembly manual'. Brief animation depicts the operations record, or 'routing'. In interview Senior Engineer Jim Mathewson explains what a planning routing is. Film of assembly workers cutting resistors to make them ready for attachment to circuit boards. In voice-over Warner explains how the computer keeps a record of such complex manufacturing processes. Other aspects of assembly work are shown, over which Mathewson describes how engineers plan the order in which components are fitted. Warner explains that this information is stored in the operations record. Mathewson explains why the use of a data-base is vastly superior to manual methods of altering or controlling the manufacturing process. Film of parts being inspected after assembly over which Warner stresses the importance of costing each operation. Interview with Vic Payne, Head of Costing who explains how material costs are organised within his department. Over a VDU showing a standard cost display Warner describes how information about costs is fed into the data base from various STC departments. She explains the process whereby Payne's department check up on missing data. Payne lists the advantages to his department of using a data base. Eggleton describes STC's design objectives when the data base system was being set up. Shots of magnetic tape being loaded, over which he explains that methods of operating the new system are compatible with those of the old. He explains why they are satisfied with the system.
Production number: 00525_4273
Videofinder number: 4176
Available to public: no