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Introduction to Computer aided Manufacturing (CAM) | Advantages Of CAM

Introduction to Computer aided Manufacturing (CAM)

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,data acquisition,testing and quality control.Improved reliability in  view of  the better 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.

Fig. CAD Model and CNC Machined Part

 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 or mass scale  manufacture) can  get  the  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.

1. 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.

2.  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.

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

4. Shorter lead time
Lead  times in  manufacturing would  be  greatly reduced.

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 equipment.

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