Among several taxonomies proposed for AMT, the most accepted classification was proposed by Small and Yasin (1997). They divided AMT into hard and soft technologies and subdivided the hard technologies into the following components of a production line:
• Robots • Computer-aided design (CAD) • Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) • Computer-aided engineering (CAE) • Computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM) • Computer numerical control (CNC) • Flexible manufacturing systems (FMSs) • Three-dimensional (3D) digitalization • Fast prototypes • Local area networks (LANs) • Wide area networks (WANs) • Technology information and communication (TIC) • Industrial automation • Automated guided vehicles (AGVs) • Automated inspections (AIs) • Artificial intelligence • Laser technologies • Electronic data interchange (EDI) • Computer-aided process planning (CAPP) • Automatic item loads and download • Automated tool changes • Computer-aided inspection, testing, and tracking • Automated item identification (bar coding) • Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA)
Soft technologies are techniques or methodologies applied to a production system to increase its effectiveness. Sometimes soft technologies are simply concepts or philosophies, examples of which are given below:
• Just-in-Time (JIT) production • Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP II) • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
• Group Technology (GT) • Manufacturing Cells (MCs) • Total Quality Management (TQM) • Statistic Quality and Process Control (SQ/PC) • Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED). • Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) • Manufacturing Technique: Lean Manufacturing.