If your company is involved in the manufacturing of any sort of physical product, then Computer Aided Manufacturing or CAM software could help you to streamline, improve and extend the manufacturing process.
The difference between CAD and CAM
CAD stands for computer aided design and refers to a number of different systems that allow designers to create and edit designs on computers. 2D CAD programs can be used to create relatively simple 2D designs such as floorplans and circuits while powerful 3D CAD can be used to build complex 3D models. CAM refers to numerical control (NC) software applications that can be used to machine-manufacture items automatically. CAD and CAM software systems are often used together to take the design process right through to manufacturing.
Benefits of CAM
Using CAM can automate large parts of the manufacturing process, saving both time and money - at least in the long run after initial investment in the software and CAM-enabled machinery. Parts are manufactured with a high degree of precision and the process can run 24 hours if required. When using CAD-CAM together, designs can be easily tweaked or redrawn and the machinery will automatically adapt to the new specifications.
A large and diverse range of businesses utilise CAM software in their manufacturing process. Florida-based Magnus Hi-Tech Industries Inc., for example, use powerful CAMWorks software to create a wide range of products including: complex components for military simulators, impellers and housing for clients defence, aerospace, medical and other exacting fields.
Magnus Methods Engineer/Program Manager Mike Blake says:
“We offer our customers a fabrication house that can produce their products from prototype to production.”
Meanwhile, in the UK, artist Moritz Waldemeyer found himself in a race against time as he sought a firm able to produce a bespoke 2,000 plastic shapes for a fish-themed light installation for the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Paralympic Games. He ended up turning to Barnsley firm; Cutting Technologies, who were able to supply the product using CAM software.
Barry Proctor, co-founder and director of Cutting Technologies, said:
“When I started as an engineer, if someone wanted to redesign a component they would need to get new tooling made, which is a ten-week process. With CAM and laser cutting, these changes are rapid and there is no extra cost.”
With the large range of companies worldwide relying on CAM; there is no reason it wouldn’t benefit all businesses.