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Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM)

Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) commonly refers to the use of numerical control (NC) computer software applications to create detailed instructions (G-code) that drive computer numerical control (CNC) machine tools for manufacturing parts. Manufacturers in a variety of industries depend on the capabilities of CAM to produce high-quality parts.

A broader definition of CAM can include the use of computer applications to define a manufacturing plan for tooling design, computer-aided design (CAD) model preparation, NC programming, coordinate measuring machine (CMM) inspection programming, machine tool simulation, or post-processing. The plan is then executed in a production environment, such as direct numerical control (DNC), tool management, CNC machining, or CMM execution.

Benefits of CAM

The benefits of CAM include a properly defined manufacturing plan that delivers expected results in production.

  • CAM systems can maximize utilization of a full range of production equipment, including high speed, 5-axis, multi-function and turning machines, electrical discharge machining (EDM) and CMM inspection equipment.

  • CAM systems can aid in creating, verifying, and optimizing NC programs for optimum machining productivity, as well as automate the creation of shop documentation.

  • Advanced CAM systems with product lifecycle management (PLM) integration can provide manufacturing planning and production personnel with data and process management to ensure use of correct data and standard resources.

  • CAM and PLM systems can be integrated with DNC systems for delivery and management of files to CNC machines on the shop floor.

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