Choosing a CAD or a CAM solution can be a daunting task. There are many aspects that you need to take into consideration prior to making your choice. These include, but are by no means limited too such things as cost (up front and annual), functionality, availability, learn-ability, support resources, development schedule, popularity, and…well even more. Many people companies choose their solution based on a number of these items. However, one of the most important items to consider is often missed…integration.
Integration between your CAD and your CAM software is paramount in today’s manufacturing world. Integration allows downstream elements, such as CAM files, to automatically receive updates from upstream items like CAD files.
For example, ACME Manufacturing designs and manufactures their own product line. Today ACME uses one CAD product to engineer with and a totally independent and different CAM product to manufacture with. This was ok to do…10 plus years ago.
The problem with this methodology is that when the engineering team makes a change to the CAD data how do they ensure that the manufacturing teams not only receives that engineering change, but that the manufacturing team uses is? Also, how long does it take the manufacturing team to integrate the new data into their standalone CAM solution? Is it a few minutes? Hours? Days???
Herein lies the problem of independent products that do not communicate with each other seamlessly.
Simply put, they cost ACME a lot of money in lost time and rework.
What is the solution?
The solution is to choose a solution that integrates all aspects of your engineering and manufacturing process together under one easy to use and deploy platform. Continue reading Choosing a fully integrated CAD/CAM Solution