COMPUTER AIDED MANUFACTURING (CAM): Greater design freedom, Increased productivity, Greater operating flexibility, Shorter lead time


The computer aided manufacturing
implies manufacturing itself, aided or controlled by computers. In a wider
sense, it denotes all the activities in the manufacturing environment
like use of computers in inventory
control, project management, material requirement planning,
acquisition, testing and quality control. Improved reliability in view of the
manufacturing methods and controls
at the manufacturing stage, the products thus
manufactured as well as of the manufacturing system would be highly
reliable. Since most
   of the components
of a CAM system would include integrated diagnostics and monitoring facilities,
they would require less maintenance compared to the conventional manufacturing
methods. Because of the Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines used in
production and the part programs being made by the stored geometry from the
design stage, the scrap level would be reduced to the minimum possible and
almost no rework would be
necessary. Since all the information and controlling functions
are attempted with the help of the computer, a better management control on the manufacturing activity is possible. 

All the above advantages
when properly translated, would mean a lower total cost and consequently, higher final earnings.
Therefore any manufacturing activity in a production unit (job shop production
mass scale manufacture) can get
benefits of Computer Aided Manufacturing. However, better results can be obtained when the design and
manufacturing activities are properly integrated.
Also, when there is a large variety of products or minor changes required in the existing production programme, CAM can easily
manage the necessary
changes or alterations.
Following are the main advantages of using CAM.

Greater design freedom

Any changes that are required in
design can be incorporated at any design stage without
worrying about any delays, since there would hardly be any in an integrated CAM environment.

 Increased productivity

In view of the fact that the
total manufacturing activity is completely organized through the computer, it
would be possible to increase the productivity of the plant.

Greater operating flexibility

CAM enhances the flexibility in manufacturing
methods and changing of product lines.

Shorter lead time

Lead times in manufacturing would be greatly
The integration of CAD and CAM
systems is called Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) system. The role of
computer in manufacturing may be in two major groups namely computer monitoring
and control of the manufacturing process and manufacturing support
applications, which deal essentially with the preparations for act of
manufacturing and post manufacture operations. Computers are used in
controlling machine tools and other material handling equipments.

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