Product development has historically involved two divided processes: first, designing a product, and then manufacturing it. The use of separate, non-integrated CAD (design) and CAM (manufacturing) tools to develop products has created a communications barrier between design and production, resulting in cost, time, and quality issues, especially when design changes are necessary or manufacturability disruptions arise. By using an integrated CAD/CAM solution, you can overcome the problems associated with the traditional disconnect between design and manufacturing. With an integrated CAD/ CAM platform, you can reduce cycle times, control costs, and improve quality, while simultaneously cultivating cooperation and collaboration between product design and manufacturing personnel.
Manufacturers face intense competitive challenges in today’s global economy. Regardless of the industry in which you operate, as a manufacturing organization you must consistently develop products that your customers want to buy, cost-effectively manufacture those products, and successfully sell them at a profit. In short, competitive pressures compel your company to continuously generate higher levels of innovation, efficiency, and productivity. Those unrelenting goals are the driving forces behind technological advances in product development, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the integration of the design through manufacturing process. Until recently, product design and manufacturing groups generally operated as separate, autonomous functions and organizations. Whether they are machining parts, developing jigs and fixtures, or making molds, manufacturing engineers, machinists, and production personnel typically do not get involved in the development of a product until the design is released for production by a design engineer.
CP-Carrillo, a leader in the production of pistons and rods for the power-sports and motor-sports racing industries, is leveraging the Applications Programming Interfaces (APIs) of the integrated SOLIDWORKS CAD and CAMWorks CAM solution to fully automate the design and part programming of its products. When an order is received, technical sales personnel enter the specifications in an interface created with the SOLIDWORKS and CAMWorks APIs. Once the specifications for the model are entered, the software automatically generates the design model and tool paths for the part, which are then machined following a quick check. This integrated, automated approach reduces overall lead time by 85 percent, including a 95 percent reduction in design time, a 75 percent drop in CNC programming time, and a 20 percent decrease in scrap and rework.