Computer-Aided Design and Computer-Aided Manufacturing (Cad And Cam)

CAD/CAM is a term which means computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing. It is the technology concerned with the use of digital computers to perform certain functions in design and production. This technology is moving in the direction of greater integration of design and manufacturing, two activities which have traditionally been treated as distinct and separate functions in a production firm. Ultimately, CAD/CAM will provide the technology base for the computer-integrated factory of the future.

Definition of CAD

Computer-aided design (CAD) can be defined as the use of computer systems to assist in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimization of a design. The computer systems consist of the hardware and software to perform the specialized design functions required by the particular user firm. The CAD hardware typically includes the computer, one or more graphics display terminals, keyboards, and other peripheral equipment. The CAD software consists of the computer pro-grams to implement computer graphics on the system plus application programs to facilitate the engineering functions of the user company. Examples of these application programs include stress-strain analysis of components, dynamic response of mechanisms, heat-transfer calculations, and numerical control part programming. The collection of application programs will vary from one user firm to the next because their product lines, manufacturing processes, and customer markets are different. These factors give rise to differences in CAD system requirements.

Definition of CAM

Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) can be defined as the use of computer systems to plan, manage, and control the operations of a manufacturing plant through either direct or indirect computer interface with the plant's production resources.

Advantages of CAD/CAM

Various advantages of CAD/CAM are mentioned below.

(a) Improved engineering productivity

(b) Shorter lead time

(c) Reduced engineering personnel requirements

(d) Improved accuracy of design

(e) Assistance in preparation of documentation

(f) Designs have more standardization

(g) Better designs provided

(h) Improved productivity in tool design

(i) Reduced training time for routine drafting tasks and NC part programming

(j) Fewer errors in NC part programming

(k) Saves materials and machining time

(l) Provides operational results on the status of work in progress

(m) Makes the management of design personnel on projects more effective

(n) Assistance in inspection of complicated parts

(o) Better communication interfaces and greater understanding among engineers, designers, drafters, management, and different project groups.

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