One of the greatest benefits of using computer aided design and drafting software is the ease of manufacturing. As mentioned earlier, the integration of computer aided design and computer aided manufacturing (CAD /CAM) greatly reduces the time required for production planning and allocation of jobs to various resources. Present day CAD and CAM systems have become very well suited to each other and in many cases they look as a single unit instead of two different systems.
Here are some of the benefits of CAD in manufacturing systems:
1) Designing tools and fixture for the manufacturing: For manufacture of every component different tools and fixture are required. When designing has been done by using CAD, and CAM is also integrated with the system, specifying and designing the tools and fixtures for a particular job becomes very handy since all the drawings describing dimensions and materials for the job are readily available from the CAD.
2) Programming for manufacturing the job: For manufacturing any job on computer numerical controlled (CNC) machine, programming is very essential. In the program for the job all the dimensions of the job and various machining processes that the job has to undergo and the sequence in which these processes have to be carried out are all mentioned. During programming process the time required for each machining process is also considered. The computer controlled machine will carry out all the machining processes as per the program. This program is in a particular language similar to other computer languages. The CAD system makes the programming very easier since all the data related to the materials, dimensions, finish required etc are mentioned in the final design of the product and it can be directly used in the CAM system for developing the program.
3) Production planning: CAD can be combined with production planning software of the CAM system to plan the manufacture of the object in shortest possible time and by making the best use of the existing machines.
4) Shorter manufacturing lead times: With CAD various lead times required for manufacturing are reduced. Making the schedules and forecast becomes much easier and accurate by using integration of CAD and CAM.
5) Fast and accurate drawings: Waiting for the assembly and parts drawings of the objects is one of most common reasons for the lost of time between designing and manufacturing. With fast designing and drawing process using CAD systems, this time can be reduced substantially. Further, the errors in designing and drawing are very few so the production engineer does not have to frequently complain about the mistakes in drawings, dimensions, and various fits.