The Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) lab, located in Barnard Hall 115, enables hands-on learning about fundamental CIM technologies using industrial equipment and related software. Currently the CIM lab has 11 computer workstations, an automated Bosch conveyance system controlled by an Allen-Bradley SLC 5/03 programmable logic controller, and two FANUC six-axis robots. Dr. Durward Sobek supervises the lab.  


  1. To provide a high quality laboratory experience for graduate and undergraduate students enrolled in courses that cover manufacturing automation, advanced material processing, or computer assisted and computer controlled manufacturing.
  2. To enhance the laboratory experience or content of any other M&IE courses where exposure to CIM technology is advantageous.
  3. To assist and support the design, manufacture and testing of products and components for design-oriented classes or projects in the College of Engineering (COE).
  4. To assist and support COE faculty and student research, and technical services.
  5. Via the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center (MMEC), to provide assistance, training and technology transfer to Montana companies.
  6. To provide educational services to other institutions and organizations in the State of Montana.

Policies: General, Computer Usage, Safety


  • No food or beverages are allowed in the laboratory area.
  • The CIM Lab shares Barnard Hall 115 with the ETME 216/217 manufacturing lab and a research space. Students shall avoid going into areas where they do not have authorization, and shall use only the tools, equipment and furniture belonging to that area. 
  • Student use of the laboratory equipment (including computers) is restricted to laboratory or class projects, graduate or other type of research projects under faculty supervision, and homework assignments. Permission is required for use of the laboratory equipment beyond these types of assignments.
  • Practice good shop management by keeping all materials, tools and supplies organized.  Assign every item a designated, labeled location.  Place all items in their designated location after use.
  • Open hours for the Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) laboratory are posted near the entryway.  Students are encouraged to use the laboratory during scheduled lab times and open hours.  Permission to be in the lab during off-hours can be arranged through the lab supervisor.


  • Eye protection is required for all ETME 216/217 manufacturing operations in the lab. Eye protection for those in the immediate area of one of these operations may also be required.
  • Wear close-toed shoes and long pants.
  • Long hair, loose clothing and jewelry must be constrained to prevent getting caught in moving components.  Exercise caution around all machines with moving parts including the benchtop machines, Bosch conveyor, robots, and any powered hand tools.
  • Never attempt to operate any equipment without authorization and proper instruction.  If you are uncertain about how a machine may react to operator input, ask for help.
  • If necessary to adjust or leave a machine unattended (even for a short period), turn it off.

Computer Usage

  • The computer workstations are to be used only for assigned purposes in M&IE related classes and projects for which the student is currently enrolled or employed.   
  • Students are not authorized to log on for someone else and allow them to use the computer.  Passwords and user IDs are confidential information.  Students must act with discretion and professionalism regarding log-ins and sharing of network resources.
  • Unless granted specific permission, students are not allowed to add, delete or modify any programs or files or change the computer settings in any fashion. 
  • Students are not allowed to lock a computer workstation and walk away.  Locked computer workstations will be turned off and any unsaved data or files will be lost.


Warning: Failing to follow these policies, or using CIM Lab computers in an unauthorized manner, or attempting to damage, misuse or steal any EPS 115 equipment or documentation will result in permanent expulsion from the Laboratory.