computer-aided manufacturing

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computer-aided manufacturing

(CAM), a form of automationautomation,
automatic operation and control of machinery or processes by devices, such as robots that can make and execute decisions without human intervention. The principal feature of such devices is their use of self-correcting control systems that employ feedback, i.e.
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 where computers communicate work instructions directly to the manufacturing machinery. The technology evolved from the numerically controlled machines of the 1950s, which were directed by a set of coded instructions contained in a punched paper tape. Today a single computer can control banks of roboticrobotics,
science and technology of general purpose, programmable machine systems. Contrary to the popular fiction image of robots as ambulatory machines of human appearance capable of performing almost any task, most robotic systems are anchored to fixed positions in factories
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 milling machines, lathes, welding machines, and other tools, moving the product from machine to machine as each step in the manufacturing process is completed. Such systems allow easy, fast reprogramming from the computer, permitting quick implementation of design changes. The most advanced systems, which are often integrated with computer-aided designcomputer-aided design
(CAD) or computer-aided design and drafting
(CADD), form of automation that helps designers prepare drawings, specifications, parts lists, and other design-related elements using special graphics- and calculations-intensive computer programs.
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 systems, can also manage such tasks as parts ordering, scheduling, and tool replacement.

computer-aided manufacturing

[kəm′pyüd·ər ‚ād·əd ‚man·ə′fak·chə·riŋ]
(control systems)
The use of computers in converting engineering designs into finished products. Computers assist managers, manufacturing engineers, and production workers by automating many production tasks, such as developing process plans, ordering and tracking materials, and monitoring production schedules, as well as controlling the machines, industrial robots, test equipment, and systems that move and store materials in the factory. Abbreviated CAM.
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