Given the increasingly important role that computers play in all our lives it is perhaps unsurprising that manufacturers have incorporated them into the production process. Everything from food producers to automobiles and the aviation industry use computers to design and manufacture their products.
It is essential that manufacturers keep abreast of new innovations in technology in order to remain competitive. This includes keeping up to date with the latest software and ensuring that they utilise it to its full potential. Computer based software that is most widely used in the manufacturing process are: CAD, CAM, MRP and CIM. Each of these plays a different part in the production of goods with varying degrees of importance depending on the industry.
Computer Aided Design (CAD)
Perhaps one of the best known acronyms in IT: CAD has been used by designers dating back to the 1960s. As technology has become more advanced and the software has become more available it has become ubiquitous in many industries. Almost every car manufacturer in the world uses CAD to completely design their cars. It is also used by architects, engineers, drafters, artists, amongst others to create precision drawings or technical illustrations. It can be used to create 2D or 3D drawings, whilst 3D offers obvious advantages; 2D is still commonly used in many industries.
Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM)
CAM software is used to program, direct and control production equipment in the fabrication of manufactured items. CAM reduces waste and enhances manufacturing and production efficiency by increasing production speeds and giving more precise tooling accuracy. CAM is often linked with CAD for more enhanced and streamlined manufacturing, efficient design and superior machinery automation.
Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP)
MRP optimises the manufacturing plan by calculating production schedules, sales forecasts, inventory status, open orders and bills of material. MRP will plan production so that the right materials are at the right place and at the right time – reducing cash flow and increasing profitability.
Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM)
This is the complete automation of a manufacturing facility, such as a factory. One integrated computer system controls everything that happens, starting from computer aided design, to computer aided manufacture followed by automated storage and distribution.
Article submitted by Community Writer