Computer aided design (CAD), computer aided manufacturing (CAM), and computer aided process planning (CAPP) are three distinct phases that comprise the much broader computer related manufacturing process. This broader process that incorporates the three phases is commonly referred to as computer aided manufacturing, or CIM. A common use for this process and the respective phases, especially CAD and CAM, are as software in computer integrated manufacturing (Pedagopu & Kumar, 2014).
Computer aided design (CAD) is generally regarded as a fast and efficient design process for computer designers (Lye & Yeo, 1992). That is, it helps to reduce the manual mistakes that might occur while designing machinery. Furthermore, it is used for the smooth conversion of design to CAM (Lye & Yeo, 1992).
Computer aided manufacturing (CAM) provides computerized instructions to the machine, essentially replacing the machine operator (Lye & Yeo, 1992). As a result, it is akin to a one-time investment, but it does make the process fast and with greater accuracy (Pedagopu & Kumar, 2014).
Finally, CAPP stands for computer aided process planning. This works with the planning in the production’s manufacturing unit (Lye & Yeo, 1992). Importantly, it holds the sequence of operations to be performed.
In practice, such as in an automated canning factory, the phases are performed systematically. The CAPP planning phase would be completed first, whereby the sequence of tasks to be completed are listed. Next, CAD would be used for the design of the machine. Finally, the output of CAD will work as an input to the CAM for the main operation in which the automated processes (such as automated canning) could be performed without any manual help or intervention.
Lye, S.W., & Yeo, S.H. (1992). Development of an integrated CAD, CAPP, CAM system for turning operations. Journal of Materials Processing Technology, 29(1), 103-117.
Pedagopu, V.M., & Kumar, M. (2014). Integration of CAD, CAPP, CAM, CNC to augment the efficiency of CIM. International Review of Applied Engineering Research, 4(2), 171-176.