Computers play invaluable role in modern manufacturing. In fact, nearly all modern manufacturing support systems are implemented using computer systems through automation. It reduces manual work in manufacturing and production. Computer Integrated Manufacturing(CIM) is the terminology used to describe the complete automation of a manufacturing plant. CIM involves integrating the functions of designing products, production planning, operational control and business-related functions in one system that operates throughout the enterprise. All of the processes function under computer control. Digital information ties them altogether. The different computer controlled processes are as follows: -aided design , computer-aided manufacturing
CAD/CAM: The heart of CIM is CAD/CAM. Computer-aided design(CAD) denotes the use of computer systems to support the product design function. Using CAD, it is possible to simulate in three dimensions the movement of a part through a production process. Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) denotes the use of computer systems to perform functions related to manufacturing engineering, such as process planning and numerical control(NC) part programming. Some computer systems perform both CAD and CAM, and so the term CAD/CAM is used to indicate the integration of the two into one system. CAD/CAM is concerned with the engineering functions in both design and manufacturing. The method of manufacturing a product is a direct function of its design. Through CAD/CAM technology, it is possible to establish a direct link between product design and manufacturing engineering. They have together overcome traditional NC shortcomings in expense, ease of use, and speed by enabling the design and manufacture of a part to be undertaken using the same data encoding system.
CAD/CAM has also given the designer much more direct control over the manufacturing process.