One of the major issues currently facing manufacturing organizations is how best to exploit recent developments in information technology. Advances in micro-electronics, particularly in computer technology, has led to a proliferation of information technology applications in industry. One example of this has been the development of computer aided manufacturing (CAM), a generic term for a variety of computer aided and computer controlled production machinery. Such technology is able to conduct a variety of different tasks under computer control with little, or no, human intervention.