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Introduction to CAD/CAM/CIM Technologies

This sub-category is about new technologies that would enhance manufacturing efficiency of the plant. Many foreign companies have already adopted such manufacturing methodology. For example: TOYOTA is the first company who adopted Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS) which comes under Computer Integrated Manufacturing. Now days, Industries are adopting these technologies though it has some Disadvantages.

One by One we will see brief Introduction of new technologies: 

 Computer Aided Design (CAD):
                         A CAD software package allows a designer to create technical drawings and schematics. There are two main types of packages - 2D (two dimensional) which concentrate on  'flat' drawings having width and height, for example, a garden design program. The other type of CAD package  is 3D (three dimensional) which allow you to deal with depth as well, for example a kitchen design application. The benefits of using CAD are that fast and accurate drawings are produced as well as tests are carried out electronically without the need of physically carrying it out, being time and money consuming.

Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM):
                               Computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM) is the manufacturing approach of using computers to control the entire production process, it is the total integration Of computer aided design and computer aided manufacturing. The computers that design the products are linked directly to the computers that aid the manufacturing process.

For Example: Flexible Manufacturing System –here manufacturing system is integrated with machine station (CNC/VMC i.e. Automatic lathe machine or Milling machine) and material handling system (Robots, AS/RS material storage System).

Fig. General layout of Computer Integrated Manufacturing System – See how System Works !

Electronic Point of Sales (EPOS):

                                  It is a computerized stock control system employed by firms; it works by a laser at the checkout scanning a product’s barcode. A computerized database then matches it to the correct item and the stock level is reduced by one. It prevents the firms carrying too much or too less of stock and sends an automatic reorder to the suppliers eliminating the time consumed.

Electronic Funds Transfer Point of Sales (EFTPOS):

                                       This refers to the technology which enables you to pay for goods using a credit or debit card electronically. It also enables the shop to electronically contact the bank to check that your card is valid and hasn't been stolen and also that you have the funds in your account to pay for the goods. You insert your electronic debit / credit card into a terminal device and type in your PIN number or sign to verify that it is your card. Once payment has been authorized by the bank the money will be removed from your account and electronically paid into the firm's bank account.


Advantages of CAD/ CAM/Computer Integrated Manufacturing :   

  • Productivity and consistency is greater as new production methods are used.
  • Greater job satisfaction motivates workers to work hard, as repetitive and boring jobs are  now done by machines.
  •  Better quality products are produced owing to better production methods and better  quality control.
  • Better consumer service results from computers being used to monitor stock levels. 
  • Quicker communication and reduced paper work, owing to computers, lead to increased profitability. 

·     Disadvantages of Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM):

  • Unemployment increases as machines/computers replace people in factories and offices.
  •  It is expensive as capital intensive, which increases the risks as large quantities of products need to be sold to cover the cost of purchasing the equipment.
  • Employees need to be trained to cope up with the new technology and are unhappy with the changes in their work practices when new technology is introduced.
  • New technology is changing all the time and will become outdated at some point of time which will need to be replaced by the business to remain competitive. 

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