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What is CIM? What is the role of CIM in manufacturing? What is the value of CIM and how can it be measured? How much CIM do we need? How can the impact of CIM be communicated to manufacturing management? SEMATECH and its member companies have been wrestling with these questions for several years. Several programs have addressed these questions and, as a result, we are in a much better position to provide the answers. Leveraging the results of SEMATECH programs and other related works, this paper introduces a new "model based" approach to the challenge of comprehensively explaining CIM and its impact on manufacturing. This CIM model is being developed at SEMATECH and is entitled the CIM Evolution Model (CEM).