Introduction to CAD/CAM/CAE procedures

CAD/CAM/CAE procedures are formalized working practices that have been agreed upon, reviewed, and accepted by management. They help ensure that the best practice is identified and then followed by all parties. They are similar to any other company standard and will not by their mere existence have any effect. They must be adopted and supported by management and they must become part of the fabric of the company.

Each company is different, with its own strengths and weaknesses. The environment of each company is different. The most effective application of CAD/CAM/CAE will therefore vary among companies. This difference will be reflected in a company's CAD/CAM/CAE strategies and procedures, so the sample procedures shown can not be automatically applied to all applications in all companies.

The introduction of CAD/CAM/CAE should have a major impact on the way that a company carries out its business. Achieving the available benefits will require many, some perhaps quite radical. These changes should be discussed and agreed upon by the people who will use the system, either directly or indirectly. Existing boundaries between departments and disciplines will change, and new skills will become increasingly important. In this environment of change, formal procedures are needed to ensure that everyone is aware of their responsibilities and their relationships with the rest of the company. Further change can be expected to occur. As a result, all procedures, especially those for CAD/CAM/CAE, will require updating to take advantage of experience and the opportunities provided by improved technology.

As the use of CAD/CAM/CAE develops, the company's investment in its database increases. Procedures control and protect this investment, and it is important that they enhance rather than detract from CAD/CAM/CAE's usefulness. After the system has been installed for a few, the investment in design data may be worth more than the cost of the system, maintenance, and training put together. If the data has not been created in a structured manner, carefully maintained, and stored for later access, then the investment will not provide the expected return. Procedures are a means for achieving this return on the company's investment in CAD/CAM/CAE.

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Page last modified on February 11, 2000
Copyright 1999, 2000 by John Stark