What is Computer Aided Manufacturing and what are its Applications?
The introduction of digital and computer technologies has been widely regarded as the Third Industrial Revolution. With the current trends, it is conceivable that humanity is now on the verge of a Fourth Industrial Revolution which builds on digital innovations and assimilates critical aspects such as artificial intelligence (AI), automation, 3D printing, the Internet of Things (IoT), and biotechnology. The introduction of the computer-aided manufacturing or CAM presents another significant aspect of the new wave of technologies. CAM has already started to have an impact on critical sectors, such as construction and manufacturing.
What is Computer-Aided Manufacturing?
CAM describes an execution technology which uses computer machinery and software to automate and facilitate manufacturing procedures. Fundamentally, computer-aided manufacturing is an advancement of computer-aided engineering (CAE), and in many instances, it can be used together with computer-aided design or CAD. Apart from additional requirements, today’s computer-aided manufacturing systems include robotics and real-time controls. Industrialists in a wide range of industries are dependent on the competencies of CAM to produce high-quality products.
An operative computer-aided manufacturing system has three key components, they include:
- The software which tells machines how to generate a product by making tool paths.
- Machinery or equipment that can process raw materials into finished goods.
- Post-processing which translates tool paths into primary machine language that organizations can understand.
These three components are assimilated together using human labor and skills to produce operative computer-aided manufacturing systems. The manufacturing industries have spent years developing and perfecting the best manufacturing equipment. As a result, they are now able to create numerous intricate designs.
What is the Application of Computer-Aided industrial?
CAM makes use of geometrical design data to regulate automated machinery. Computer-aided manufacturing systems are connected to direct numerical control (DNC) systems or computer numerical control (CNC) systems. Computer-aided manufacturing has six important uses that can be applied to small and large manufacturing facilities. These uses include:
- Effective Management of General Production Process: In specific manufacturing industries, the computer-aided manufacturing technologies may be applied in order to accelerate the general production process. For instance, in OTC pharmaceutical or chemical manufacturing corporations, CAM may be used to specify the volume of the raw and secondary materials that are required for use in the chemical procedure.
- Machining Equipment: This is the most common use of the CAM. For this application, CAM is applied to point machines which are dependent on CNC systems for accurate cutting, shaping, and packaging.
- Production and Engineering Design: Production manufacturing makes use of a number of equipment that are synchronized with the computer-aided manufacturing software. Also, CAM systems can be applied to the engineering field to offer manufacturers with lasting, dependable, equipment design.
- Equipment Safety: Most organizations are dependent on computer-aided manufacturing in their production phase of operations. As such, CAM systems have also proven to be instrumental in ensuring equipment and machine safety. Machine that are monitored using computer-aided manufacturing systems are able to reduce the risk of injury and other damages in industries such as chemical mixing, and lumbering, CAM software may also be used to reduce potential fatalities. The use of this technology also presents a cost-savings approach that is associated with the manufacturing organization’s ability to ensure compliance which helps to avoid liability and compliance costs.
- Connecting the Machines in the Manufacturing Process: Computer-aided manufacturing has proved to be advantageous because it produces exceptionally produced equipment and machines which lead to an efficient and fast production process. In addition to this, CAM is also advantageous to the organization because it results in higher volumes and a greater level of quality of goods that are manufactured with optimum accuracy and precision.
- Developing of Tool Path Designs: Within the automobile industry, design engineers can make use of computer-aided manufacturing systems to develop new computer models of new automobile designs. The path design employed in a manufacturing facility is often dependent on a specific piece of equipment. And each machine part’s possible to use.
Computer-Aided Manufacturing Machines
All contemporary manufacturing facilities engaged in fabrication run a number of CNC machines to produce engineered products. The process used to program computer numerical control machines to carry out specified action is referred to as computer numerical control machining. Some examples of computer-aided manufacturing machine include:
- Computer Numerical Control Routers: CNC machines cut parts and crave out different shapes with high-speed oscillating components.
- Electrical Discharge Machines (EDM): EDMs are machines that cut out desired shapes from raw materials using electric discharge.
- Milling Machines: These machines are able to cut away different materials such as composite, wood, and material. These machines work to remove mass from block materials efficiently.
- Water, Plasma, and Laser Cutters: Such machines use plasma torch, high-pressure water, and precise lasers to perform engraved finished or controlled cut.
- Lathes: These machines chip away at raw materials. Lathe machines spin the raw material and chip it using a stationary tool.
Impact of Computer-Aided Manufacturing
Since the advent of computer-aided manufacturing, there have been numerous improvements to the manufacturing industry and the production process. The CAM systems have been able to improve machine capabilities. This is because these systems utilize complex 5-axis machinery to offer more compound and better quality parts.
In addition to this, CAMs have been able to offer high-speed machine tools paths which helps industries to develop parts at increased speeds. The other implication of CAM systems is improved material usage. Using CAM systems, industries are able to develop compound geometries with negligible wastage which leads to reduced cost.
Finally, the computer-aided manufacturing has been instrumental in reducing wastage and conserving energy for enhancing production and manufacturing efficiency through increased production speed, more accurate tooling precision, and raw material consistency.
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