Computer Aided Design (CAD)

Computer-aided design (CAD) is the use of computer systems to aid in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimization of a design.

The computer system consists of 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 programs 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.

Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM)

Computer aided manufacturing (CAM) denotes the use of computer system to perform the functions related to manufacturing engineering, such as process planning and numerically controlled (NC) part programming. Some computer system performs the CAD and CAM, and so the term CAD/CAM is used to indicate the integration of the two systems into one. In addition to CAD/CAM, CIM also includes the firm business function that is related to manufacturing.

The effective use of computer technology in manufacturing planning and control is known as computer aided manufacturing (CAM). Manufacturing engineering functions such as process planning and numeric control (NC) are included in CAM.

The application of CAM is divided in two categories:

1.Manufacturing planning, and

2.Manufacturing control.

1. Manufacturing Planning

The applications of CAM in manufacturing planning are those computers are used directly to support the production function, but there is no direct connection between the computer and the process.

The computer is used “offline” to provide information for the effective planning and management of the production activities. The following list surveys the application of CAM in this category:

a) Computer Aided Process Planning (CAPP)

b) Computer Assisted NC Part Programming

c) Computerized Machinability Data System

d) Development of Work Standard

e) Cost Estimating

f) Production and Inventory Planning

g) Computer Aided Line Balancing

a) Computer Aided Process Planning (CAPP)

The route sheets listing the operation sequences and workstations required for manufacturing the products and its components are prepared in process planning. These route sheets are prepared now a days using CAPP.

b) Computer Assisted NC Part Programming

Computer assisted part programming represents a method to generate the control instructions for the machine tools for complex geometries rather than manual part programming. Part Programming for NC machines is step by step instructions according to which tool movements on the part for metal removal is carried out.

c) Computerized Machinability Data System

Determination of speed and feed in metal cutting for the given machine tools is a major problem. Computer program is written to propose the suitable condition to use for different materials. Estimation of tool life needs information about material of tools and work piece, speed, feed and depth of cut etc. As per the cutting conditions, such calculations are to be repeated. Therefore, application of computers for such purposes may assist process planner to a great extent

d) Development of Work Standard

Responsibility for setting time standards on direct labor jobs performed in the factory is taken by time study department. It is a very tedious and time consuming task to establish standards by direct time study. There are several computer packages also available in market for setting up the work standards. These computer programs use standard time data that have been developed for basic work element that comprise any manual task. By summing the times for the individual elements required to perform a new job, the program calculates the standard time for the job.

e) Cost Estimating

In many industries, cost estimation of a new product is being simplified by computerizing several key steps needed to prepare the estimate. Suitable labour and overhead rates are applied with the help of the computer programs to the sequence of planned operations involved in the components of new products. Individual components cost which range from the engineering bill of the materials to determine the overall product cost is summed up by the program.

f) Production and Inventory Planning

Extensive application in many of the functions in inventory planning and production control is being executed by the computer. The aforementioned functions are maintenance of inventory records, automatic recording of stock items in the case when inventory is depleted, production scheduling, maintaining current priorities for the different production orders material requirements planning, and capacity planning etc.

g) Computer Aided Line Balancing

It is a very tough job to find the best allocation of work elements among stations on an assembly line if the line is of significant size. The problems are solved with the help of computer program.

2. Manufacturing Control

Another category of CAM application is development of computer supported system for implementing the manufacturing control functions. These control functions manage and control the physical operation in the factory.

These functions are as follows:

a) Process Monitoring and Control

b) Quality Control

c) Shop Floor Control

d) Inventory Control

a) Process Monitoring and Control

Process monitoring and control concerned with observing and regulating the production equipment of manufacturing processes in the plant. The applications of the process control are absorbed in automated production system. Which includes the example cascs like transfer line assembly system, NC, robotics, material handling and flexible manufacturing systems. All these will be discussed later on. Process monitoring and the control functions are deployed to regulate the actions of various production cquipment’s. Some of the well known control systems used in the industry are as follows.

b) Quality Control

There are varieties of approaches that insure highest possible quality level in the manufacturing system and products and these are included in quality control.

c) Shop Floor Control

Production management techniques for collecting data from factory operations and using these data to help control production and inventory in the factory comes under shop floor control. Shop floor control and computerized factory data collection systems are discussed in detail later on.

d) Inventory Control

The important thing about inventory control is that it maintains the most appropriate level of inventory in the face of two opposing objectives: minimizing the investment and storage cost of holding inventory and maximizing service to customer.


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Throughout the history of our industrial society, many inventions have been patented and whole new technologies have evolved. Perhaps the single development that has impacted manufacturing more quickly and significantly than any previous technology is the digital computer. Computers are being used increasingly for both design and detailing of engineering components in the drawing office.


Computer aided design(CAD) is defined as the application of computers and graphics software to aid or enhance the product design from conceptualization to documentation. CAD is most commonly associated with the use of an interactive computer graphics system, referred to as a CAD system. Computer aided design systems are powerful tools and in the mechanical design and geometric modelling of products and components.

There are several good reasons for using a CAD system to support the engineering design function:

✓ To increase the productivity

✓ To improve the quality of the design

✓ To uniform design standards

✓ To create a manufacturing data base

✓ To eliminate inaccuracies caused by hand copying of drawings and inconsistency between drawings

Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) is defined as the effective use computer technology in manufacturing planning and control. CAM is most closely associated with functions in manufacturing engineering, such as process and production planning, machining, scheduling, management, quality control, and numerical control (NC) part programming.

Computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing are often combined CAD/CAM systems. This combination allows the transfer of information from the design into the stage of planning for the manufacturing of a product, without the need to re-enter the data on part geometry manually. The database developed during CAD is stored, then it is processed further, by CAM, into the necessary data and instructions for operating and controlling production machinery, material handling equipment, and automated testing and inspection for product quality. In general, a Computer Aided Design (CAD) package has three components:

a. Design

b. Analysis and

c. Visualization.

A brief description of these components follows.

  • Design:

Design refers to geometric modeling, i.e., 2-D and 3-D modeling, including, drafting, part creation, creation of drawings with various views of the part, assemblies of the parts, etc.

  • Analysis :

Analysis refers to finite element analysis, optimization, and other number crunching engineering analyses. In general, a geometric model is first created and then the model is analyzed for loads, stresses, moment of inertia, and volume, etc.

  • Visualization :

Visualization refers to computer graphics, which includes: rendering a model, creation of pie charts, contour plots, shading a model, sizing, animation, etc.

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