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    Use of CAD, CAE, CAM, CIM, and FMS in manufacturing

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    I am trying to answer the following questions from the perspective of a production manager for a small machine shop that manufactures precision parts for industrial equipment. From that perspective how would one address the following set of questions:

    Can you use CAD, CAE, CAM, CIM, and FMS to manufacture better parts more easily? Explain.

    If your final product requires several unique subunits that are all produced with different machinery and in differing lengths of time, what facility layout will you choose and why?

    Based on some articles on "franchising", off of the internet, from an operational perspective, why is purchasing a franchise such as Wendy's or Jiffy Lube an attractive alternative for starting a business?

    Based on reviews of articles pertaining to corporate culture, What things can be learned about a company's culture by observing the layout and design of its production facility? Discuss both goods and services operations.

    Please justify your answers so I can get a full perspective of what you are telling me by answering the following in your response

    "How" you arrived at your answer(s)
    "What" facts and sources you reviewed and considered
    "Why" your response is the best one from all the alternatives

    Please provide me with any and all references as they pertain to what material came from where, so that I can reference it for myself.

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    From the perspective of a production manager for a small machine shop that manufactures precision parts for industrial equipment.
    Can you use CAD, CAE, CAM, CIM, and FMS to manufacture better parts more easily? Explain.

    Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS)
    is a Production system using computer-controlled machines that can adapt to various versions of the same operation. Flexible manufacturing can produce small lots like intermittent manufacturing. But it uses continuous manufacturing actions. Thus, flexible manufacturing is seen as the way for the future. It produces low-cost products, as they are needed.

    It involves substituting machines capable of performing a wide and redefinable variety of tasks for machines dedicated to the performance of specific tasks. FMS can also be programmed to handle new products, thus extending the machines' life cycles. Thus they represent a change from "standardized goods produced by customized machines" to "customized goods produced by standardized machines".

    It will be very much useful to the production manager as it will be able to provide customized products without much delay to each of its customers
    Flexible automation is an operational response to this need. "Manufacturing is shifting from attempting to exploit economies of scale to exploiting economies of scope,"
    As a result, the ability to adapt to changing market requirements, product designs, and technological developments is becoming a key factor in the competitiveness of an organization. Viewed from the shop floor, this translates into dealing efficiently with frequent changeovers of parts and small production batches."

    The ideal system uses reprogrammable processing, material-handling machinery, and computer coordination of cycles to enable the simultaneous production of different part types with zero on-line setup time and costs. No system has thus far lived up to this ideal completely. Still, new developments in hardware and software are bringing state-of-the-art systems closer all the time.

    Traditional automation systems were extremely limited in scope. Each would do a single task very well over and over again but had little or no ability to adapt to any other task. For example, when an automobile manufacturer needed a robot welder on an assembly line to work on a different part, technicians and engineers had to make significant hardware and software changes. Besides being labor-intensive, such changeovers typically required extensive downtime.

    For years now, industry has successfully implemented computer-driven, flexibly automated manufacturing systems. These systems tend to be small in both size (the number of devices under computer coordination) and scope. They are typically confined to a single part family or a few similar ones, so there is a restricted part flow within the system. These restrictions are due in part to a lack of underlying models for the operation and control of such systems.

    Hardware Expands Options

    Several advances in hardware have helped make flexible automation systems feasible and affordable. The most significant advance is the fast, inexpensive microprocessor. Even the least sophisticated flexible automation system requires a great deal of computing power. Just five years ago, a system with a 20-megahertz processor and 100 megabytes of storage was considered powerful; now even the lowest-cost personal computer offers much more. "What costs under $5,000 today would have cost $100,000 10 years ago," "State-of-the-art computers have opened up flexible automation to a wide variety of industries.

    Computer-aided design (CAD)

    is the use of a wide range of computer-based tools that assist in the design activities. It involves both software and special-purpose hardware.

    It can be used by production manager in following areas :

    * Reuse of design components
    * Ease of modification of designs and the production of multiple versions
    * Automatic generation of standard components of the design
    * Validation/verification of designs against specifications and design rules
    * Simulation of designs without building a physical prototype
    * Automated design of assemblies, which are collections of parts and/or other assemblies
    * Output of engineering documentation, such as manufacturing drawings, and Bills of Materials
    * Output of design data directly to manufacturing facilities
    * Output directly to a Rapid Prototyping or Rapid Manufacture Machine for industrial prototypes

    Computer-aided Engineering (often referred to as CAE)

    is a broad term describing the use of computer technology to aid in the design, manufacture, handling, or transport of goods. It is most widely used in the control of robotic machines which perform manufacturing tasks too large, too small, too exacting, or too tiresome for human beings. This can range from the assembly of automobiles to the etching of microchips. The precision of computer control is invaluable to almost every form of manufacturing. Advanced CAE tools merge many different aspects of the product lifecycle management (PLM), including design, production planning, product testing using FEA (Finite Element Analysis), visualization and product documentation etc.

    CAE encompasses a broad range of tools, both those commercially available and those, which are proprietary to the engineering firm.

    Unfortunately CAE tools can be very expensive and time-consuming to create; the requirements of due diligence and corporate liability, combined with the rapid change of technology, processes, and materials means that the tools often lag behind, and become outdated almost before they can be used. Companies often continue to use old technology for many years before they are willing to invest in yet another expensive upgrade.

    Nevertheless such design tools as AutoCAD, Microstation, Catia, and others have been successfully used for over twenty-five years. Recently software like LSDYNA has become popular among designers for automotive crashworthiness to Occupant safety.

    I will recommend only this to large companies as it is expensive.

    Integrating computer-aided manufacturing (CAM)
    with computer-aided design systems produces quicker and more efficient manufacturing processes. This methodology is applied in different manufacturing areas.
    It can be used by the manager for the following things:

    Things taken care of by CAM

    * Verification of the data
    * Panelization of the design to fit the raw material
    * Ability to edit
    * Ability to add manufacturing information
    In CNC manufacturing the CAM system is used to simplify the machining and design process. In most cases the CAM system will work with a CAD design made in a 3D environment. The CNC programmer will just specify the machining operations and the CAM system will create the CNC program. This compatibility of CAD/CAM systems eliminates the need for redefining the work piece configuration to the CAM system.

    Computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM)

    is manufacturing supported by computers. It is the total integration of Computer Aided Design / Manufacturing and also other business operations and databases.
    "CIM is the integration of total manufacturing enterprise by using integrated systems ...

    Solution Summary

    This paper discuses the use of CAD, CAE, CAM, CIM, and FMS in manufacturing