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Z94.12.3 B - Manufacturing Automation & Computer Control

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BATCH PROCESSING. A manufacturing operation in which a designated quantity of material is treated in a series of steps. Also, a method of processing jobs so that each is completed before the next job is initialized.

BATCH PRODUCTION. Non-Continuous processing of unlike parts. Contrast with mass production.

BAUD. (1) A unit of signalling speed equal to the number of discrete conditions or signal events per second. For example, one baud equals one-half dot cycle per second in Morse Code, one bit per second in a train of binary signals, and one 3-bit value per second in a train of signals each of which can assume one of eight different states. (2) In asynchronous transmission, the unit of modulation rate corresponding to one unit interval per second, i.e., if the duration of the unit interval is 20 milliseconds, the modulation rate is 50 baud.

BEGINNER'S ALL-PURPOSE SYMBOLIC INSTRUCTION CODE (BASIC). A procedure-level computer language that is easy to learn and well suited for time-sharing communication via terminals connected with a remotely located computer.

BEHIND THE TAPE READER (BTR). A means of putting data directly into a machine control unit from an external source other than a tape reader.

BCD (BINARY CODED DECIMAL). A system of number representation; that is, an information code in which each decimal digit is represented by 4 binary digits.

BINARY. A numerical system pertaining to characteristics involving a selection or condition in which two possibilities exist.


BIONICS. A technology attempting to relate the functions, characteristics, and phenomena of living systems to those of hardware systems.

BIT. (1) Bit is an abbreviation for binary digit. Most commonly a unit of information equalling one binary decision, or the designation of one of two possible and equally likely values or states, usually conveyed as 1 or 0, which may also mean "yes" or "no." (2) A single character in a binary number. (3) A single pulse in a group of pulses. (4) A unit of information, capacity of a storage device. The capacity in bits is the logarithm to the base two of the number of possible states of the device.

BLOCK ADDRESS FORMAT. (1) A tape programming method for NC systems in which only instructions that need changing are punched into the tape. (2) A means of identifying words by use of an address specifying the format and meaning of words in the block.

BLOCK DIAGRAM. A simplified schematic drawing setting forth the sequence of operations to be performed for handling a particular application.

BOOLEAN ALGEBRA. A process of reasoning or a deduction system of theorems using symbolic logic and dealing with classes, propositions, yes/no criteria, etc., for variables rather than numeric quantities. Developed by George Boole, this algebra includes operators, such as AND, OR, NOT, EXCEPT, IF...THEN, that permit mathematical calculations.

BOOTSTRAP. (1) A technique or device designed to bring itself into a desired state by means of its own action, e.g., a machine routine whose first few instructions are sufficient to bring the rest of itself into the computer from an input device. (2) To use a bootstrap. (3) That part of a computer program used to establish another version of the computer program.

BREADBOARD. Usually refers to an experimental or rough construction model of a process, device, or construction.

BRIDGE. In a system of measurement, the instruction in which part or all of a bridge circuit is used in measuring one or more electrical quantities. In relation to a fully electronic stringed instrument, the bridge converts the mechanical vibrations produced by the strings into electrical signals.

BUBBLE MEMORY. Such memories are actually tiny cylinders of magnetization whose axes lie perpendicular to the plane of the single-crystal sheet that contains them. Magnetic bubbles arise when two magnetic fields are applied perpendicular to the sheet. A constant field strengthens and fattens the regions of the sheet whose magnetization lies along it. A pulsed field then breaks the strengthened regions into isolated bubbles, which are free to move within the plane of the sheet. Because the presence or absence of bubbles can represent digital information, and because other external fields can manipulate this information, magnetic-bubble devices find uses in data-storage systems.

BUFFER. (1) A "machine" designed to be inserted between forms of storage, usually between internal and external. (2) An input device in which information is assembled from external or secondary storage and stored ready for transfer to internal storage. (3) An output device into which information is copied from internal storage and held for transfer to secondary or external storage. Computation continues while transfers between buffer storage and secondary or internal storage or vice versa takes place. (4) Any device which stores information temporarily during data transfers.

BUFFER STORAGE. (1) A device for storing information for eventual transfer to active storage. It enables the control system to act on stored data without waiting for tape reading. (2) A register used for intermediate storage of data during the transfer of it from or to the computer's accumulators and a peripheral device. (3) A synchronizing element between two forms of storage; computation continues while information is transferred between the buffer storage device and the secondary storage device.

BUG. (1) A program defect or error. Also refers to any circuit fault due to improper design or construction. (2) A mistake or malfunction.

BUS. A conductor, or group of conductors considered as a single entity, which transfers signals or power between elements.

BYTE. A sequence of binary digits operated upon as a single unit. A byte may be comprised of 8, 12, or 16 binary digits, depending upon the system. An IBM developed term used to indicate a specific number of consecutive bits treated as a single entity. A byte is most often considered to consist of eight bits which as a unit can represent one character or two numerals.


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