Aided Manufacturing - CAM
The CAD model data generated during the
design process can be utilized further by
the Computer Aided Manufacturing process.
A good CAD/CAM system eliminates the need
to manually calculate tangencies or to do
the trigonometry required to calculate tool
paths, saving valuable programming time.
It also provides a consistent finish and
For shops doing a lot of production machining,
tool path efficiency becomes another major
consideration. If the same part is run hundreds
or thousands of times, any wasted moves
in the tool path can be costly. One of the
recent developments in CAM is the introduction
of Knowledge-based Machining.
Knowledge Based Machining simply automates
repetitive operations to drastically reduce
part programming time especially when a
shop finds itself machining a number of
the same part features from job to job.
A Knowledge-based machining system captures
the user's expert knowledge about certain
operations, storing them in a database and
making tedious information reentry a thing
of the past. This aspect of the software
is especially helpful for smaller and medium
size job shops that don't do a lot of complex
three-dimensional machining but instead
focus largely on holemaking and 2 1/2 axis
milling. Industry statistics indicate that
holemaking constitutes over 70% of machine
shop operations, while plain milling makes
up another 22%.
Computer-Aided Process Planning is concerned
with the preparation of a route sheet for
the engineering drawing of the work part
which must be interpreted in terms of manufacturing
process to be used. The route sheet is a
listing of the sequence of operations. Closely
related to process planning are the functions
of determining appropriate cutting conditions
for the machining operations and setting
the time standards for the operations which
are aided by computers.