With the advent of the CAD software there has been integration of designing and manufacturing processes. Just like computer aided designing (CAD) we have concept of computer aided manufacturing (CAM). CAD software enables direct link between CAD and CAM.
Traditional Design and Manufacturing Process
In the traditional designing process the draftsman makes the assembly and part drawings of the designed product, which are sent to the shop floor to the production manager for manufacturing of the components. The production engineer carries out process planning for the manufacture of the objects. Here they have to calculate the machining time for all the manufacturing processes for all the components of the object. The production manager has to allocate the machines for manufacturing in such a way that their maximum utilization is done.
Thus in the traditional system, the design and production are two different processes or rather two different phases leading to the ultimate manufacturing of the product. This traditional process is time consuming and requires duplicate efforts on the part of designer and the production personnel.
With the advent of the CAD and CAM software there has been integration of designing and manufacturing processes. Just like computer aided designing (CAD) we have concept of computer aided manufacturing (CAM). CAD software enables direct link between CAD and CAM.
On its part CAD enables automation of designing, while CAM enables automation of manufacturing processes. The combination of CAD and CAM enables automated transition from designing to manufacturing. For the product that has been designed using the CAD software on computer, all the process planning and management of the manufacturing operations for the manufacture of the product can be done by the computer systems. All the data from the CAD systems can be directly used for the CAM systems.
The database created by the integration of CAD/CAM is also called as manufacturing database. It includes all the data about the product generated during design like shape and dimensions, bill of materials and part lists, material specifications etc. It also includes additional data required for the manufacturing purposes.
Thus in the integrated CAD/CAM system the two processes of designing and manufacturing are combined together. There is no time gap between the two processes and there is no duplication of efforts required on the parts of designer and the production personnel.
CAD/CAM: Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing by Mikell P. Groover and Emory W. Zimmers