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The use of computers by industry in operations and products is undergoing a fundamental change. The change has been made possible by technological advances in integrated circuits and software. Cost and performance trends of small (mini) and large (maxi) computers are such that future systems will be distributed and hierarchical. Both computer power and data bases (mass storage) will be distributed. The hierarchy will cover from business host functions to control on the factory floor. The integrated and on-line nature of future systems promises to increase greatly the timeliness and quality of operational data available to decision makers and lead to increased productivity. The information structure of manufacturing information and control systems will be applicable to the products of some companies.