Uses computers to control and adjust the production process. It allows firms to: change machine set ups automatically by means of computer; move materials and work in progress from one machine to another automatically; manufacture products in shorter times, with improved quality and reliability and, thus, lower costs, possibly leading to lower prices for consumers; achieve greater flexibility and more product variety – different versions of the same product can be made within the same production run – for example – motor cars with different colours, models and engine sizes can be produced side by side.