Computer Aided Manufacturing - the Future of Production

Published: 13th June 2011
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Computer aided manufacturing is the process of using computers, machines, and other programmed machinery in designing and manufacturing mass-produced work pieces and replaceable parts. It may also refer to the use of computers in the manufacturing process. Many manufacturing plants in developed countries use computer aided manufacturing to save time and money in producing components and parts of bigger machines and equipment.

One of the most common applications of computer aided manufacturing is seen in car manufacturing companies, where the design and conceptualization of new cars are done with the aid of software programs that combine the concepts of design and the mathematics of engineering.

Benefits of Computer Aided Manufacturing

One of the main advantages of Computer aided manufacturing is that it allows a person to input instructions to the machine in very tight and precise measurements. It also provides them a systemic approach to produce components very fast, compared to manually drawing the concept on paper and then manually inputting the measurements and formula into a computer.

It also facilitates the efficient use of computers in the execution of designs. In many cases, the computers used in Computer aided manufacturing also have an attached execution hardware that executes the designs you have entered on the computer screen. One perfect example of this is the steel cutting technology. A craftsman can input intricate designs on his computer, and then the computer send this to the work area where a robot arm will cut pieces of flat steel into the exact measurements and designs drawn by the person on the computer. An output is ready within seconds or minutes. Without the computer aided manufacturing system, these processes will take hours or days to accomplish.

Challenges to Computer Aided Manufacturing

The first challenge to CAM is that its costs can be astronomical, from buying the computer and the machines needed to execute designs, as well as the maintenance of the machines. You will also need a sophisticated cadcam software so you can develop designs and models and be able to convert them into executable actions by the computer.

Moreover, some computer aided manufacturing systems and their cadcam software fail to produce a consistent design output. In layman's terms, what you see is not what you get. You will need very sophisticated software and accurate hardware to execute your designs perfectly. The main reason for the inconsistency is that there has yet to be a code developed that will standardize the operations of all computer aided manufacturing systems.

Overall, computer aided manufacturing is a revolutionary breakthrough in the age of mass production. It helps people produce components and parts much faster, with the aid of powerful software that allows them to create designs on three-dimension aspect in the computer. It is also perfect for repeated tasks in a manufacturing environment.

Computers are becoming more and more indispensable in a fast evolving world where everything has to be made instant. Computer aided manufacturing is the best example of that fact, and pretty soon, all the worlds manufacturing plants will have a sophisticated computer that handles production of goods.

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