Fast Moving Consumer Goods

(FMCG)

FMCG is another term that is widely used but whose meaning is not particularly standardised. In some uses it may be almost synonymous to CPG and include all non-durable consumer goods. In other uses it may be more specific and refer for example to predominantly for food or drink products.

Feedstock

The basic raw materials that are the input to and requirement for an industrial process. Oil and gas are feedstocks for the manufacture of a wide range of fertilizers, plastics, fuels and other products.

Fieldbus

A Fieldbus is a digital, two-way communication link which can connect multiple intelligent measurement and control devices. It serves as a Local Area Network (LAN), in particular for the machines, controllers and sensors which are directly involved in production processes.

Fill rates

Measures the extent to which stored inventory satisfies customer demand. If a customer orders 100 units, and inventory only has 50, then the fill rate is 50%. In this way, a higher fill rate is representative of higher customer satisfaction.

Finite capacity scheduling

Software to implement finite capacity scheduling uses actual production capacity as a key parameter for its scheduling calculation. This is different from the original production scheduling method, MRPII. MRPII assumes infinite capacity, and creates schedules by working back from customer due date. This allows an MRPII schedule to be unachievable, because it assumes no limit on the number of items a workcentre can process in a day. There are many different approaches to finite capacity scheduling, including, for example, constraint based scheduling, and also MRPII add-ons which adjust an MRPII schedule to match actual capacity.

Finite Element Analysis

(FEA)

FEA is a mathematical method which is at the heart of simulation software. FEA uses 3D meshes of millions of cells to represent the complex geometry of an item. By performing calculations for every single point or cell in the mesh, then combining the results, FEA determines the overall result for the item. FEA based simulation is used in product-design software to conduct graphical on-screen analysis of structural loads, thermal behaviour, and fluid flows.

First In First Out

(FIFO)

FIFO is a strategy used in material handling. In the FIFO model, items that have been ready and available the longest are the first to be used. FIFO, for example, is appropriate when goods are perishable. FIFO is the opposite of Last In First Out (LIFO).

First-Pass Yield

The percentage of finished products that meet all quality-related specifications at a final test point without being scrapped, rerun or reworked. In process industries, yield often is calculated as the percentage of output that meets target-grade specifications (this excludes output which is off-grade, even when it is still saleable).

Flexible Manufacturing System

(FMS)

The FMS concept prioritizes automated manufacturing equipment and/or cross-trained work teams that can make a variety of product or part configurations. From an equipment standpoint, an FMS is typically a group of computer-based machine tools with integrated material handling that is able to produce a family of similar parts.

Flight Simulators

A flight simulator is a system whose purpose is to copy, or to simulate, the experience of flying an aircraft, but without leaving the ground. The different types of flight simulator range from video games up to full-size cockpit replicas mounted on computer controlled actuators. Flight simulators are extensively used for aerospace design and development and in aviation for the training of pilots and other flight deck crew in both civil and military aircraft.

Fluid Flow Sensors

A Fluid Flow Sensor measures the rate or amount of liquid, gas or vapor which goes past it. The same name is sometimes used for sensors which measure the flow rate of powdered solids.

Fly by Wire

Fly by wire is a method used to connect an aircraft pilot’s control inputs to the control surfaces and equipment of the aircraft. In a fly by wire system, control movements by the pilot are measured by sensors. The sensor readings are used by software running on flight control computers to calculate optimum adjustments to the aircraft’s control surfaces and systems. The flight control computers signal actuators to make the calculated changes.

Foreign Owned US Defense Contractor

A company recognised by the US government as one allowed to bid for US defense contracts, despite being foreign owned. To achieve this status, such US subsidiaries are generally incorporated in the US and have a local board of directors which is predominately composed of US citizens. An example is BAESystems North America, headquartered in Maryland.

Formula

In process manufacturing, a formula specifies the ingredients, and the amounts needed (e.g., pounds, gallons, liters). A formula can also specify the processing steps required to make a product, and in this case is often called a recipe.

Free Trade Agreements

A free trade agreement is a contract between participant countries to eliminate restrictions such as tariffs, quotas, and trade taxes. The goal is to encourage imports and exports across their borders.

Fuel Cells

A fuel cell consumes fuel in order to generate electricity. A hydrogen fuel cell uses hydrogen as fuel and oxygen (usually from air) as oxidant. Fuel cells are very common as power sources in remote locations, such as spacecraft, remote weather stations and in certain military applications.