CAD/CAM Selection for Small Manufacturing - UW-Stout

CAD/CAM Selection for Small Manufacturing - UW-Stout
CAD/CAM SELECTION FOR SMALL
MANUFACTURING COMPANIES
By
Tim Mercer
A Research Paper
Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the
Master of Science Degree in
Management Technology
Approved for Completion of 3 Semester Credits
INMGT 735
Research Advisor
The Graduate College
University of Wisconsin
May 2000
The Graduate School
University of Wisconsin - Stout
Menomonie, WI 54751
Abstract
Mercer
Timothy
B.
CAD/CAM Selection for Small Manufacturing Companies
Master of Science in Management Technology
Linards Stradins
2/2000
71 pages
Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association
In today's fast paced world, CAD/CAM systems have become an essential
element in manufacturing companies throughout the world. Technology and
communication are changing rapidly, driving business methods for organizations
and requiring capitalization in order to maintain competitiveness. Knowledge
prior to investing into a system is crucial in order to maximize the benefits
received from changing CAD/CAM systems.
The purpose of this study is to create a methodology to aid small
manufacturing companies in selecting a CAD/CAM system. The objectives are to
collect data on CAD/CAM systems that are available in the market today, identify
important criteria in system selection, and identify company evaluation
parameters.
Acknowledgements
Thanks to Dr. Rich Rothaupt for introducing me to CAM, survey help, and
providing guidance with CAD/CAM applications.
Thanks to Dr. Martha Wilson for early revisions, survey help and overall
guidance.
Thanks to my good friend and soon to be Dr. Linards Stradins for his
patience, leadership, and wisdom. His invaluable knowledge and dedication as my
advisor has helped me both personally and academically.
Thanks to my family and friends who have been so supportive and helpful
while I have finished my studies here at Stout.
Finally, thank you to my dedicated wife who has helped me more than
words can say.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1.............................................................................................................................
1
Introduction .....................................................................................................................
Background of the Problem : ............................................................................................
Statem ent of Problem : ..................................................................................................... 2
Objectives of the Study: .................................................................................................. 2
Purpose: ...........................................................................................................................
3
Limitations: ......................................................................................................................
4
Definitions:......................................................................................................................
5
Chapter 2.............................................................................................................................9
Literature Review ............................................................................................................ 9
Introduction .........................................
.............................. 9
H istory...........................................................................................................................
10
Benefits of using CAD/CAM ........................................................................................ 10
Solid M odeling ..............................................................................................................
12
Surface M odeling .......................................................................................................... 13
CA M Software............................................................................................................... 14
System Criteria ..............................................................................................................
v
15
15
1....................
Ease of Use ........ ................................
Added Features .........
.................................................
16
C ompatibility .............................................................................................. 19
B enchm arking ............................................................................................. 21
E fficiency and Effectiveness....................................................................... 22
Price ............................................................................................................ 23
Vendor Demonstrations ........................................
............ 24
Program Support and Service ....................................................
24
Company Needs ........................................................................................ 25
Total C ost of Ow nership ....................................................
...................... 26
Future......................................................................................................................
....... 28
Chapter 3 ........................................................................................................................... 29
M ethodology.................................................................................................................. 29
R esearch D esign ............................................................................................................ 29
D ata Collection .............................................................................................................. 30
Instrum entation .............................................................................................................. 30
System Evaluation ......................................................................................................... 31
CAD KE Y 99.................................................................................................................. 32
M echanical Desktop R elease 4...................................................................................... 34
vi
Solidworks 2000 ............................................................................................................ 36
Pro-Engineer 2000i....................................................................................................... 38
I-D EA S 8 ....................................................................................................................... 41
M astercam ..................................................................................................................... 43
SU RFCA M .................................................................................................................... 44
Chapter 4........................................................................................................................... 47
Results ........................................................................................................................... 47
Figure 1 Years Organizations Used CAD ...................................................... 48
Figure 2 Years Organizations Used CAM ..................................................... 49
Table 1 Important Selection Criteria.............................................................. 50
Figure 3 New Purchase Investment Information ..................................
51
Table 2 Important A dd-on Utilities ................................................................ 52
Figure 4 H ours of Training ................................................................. 53
Figure 5 File Form ats U sed............................................................................ 54
Figure 6 Number of Employees at Facility .................................................... 55
Table 3 Population Gross Sales...................................................................... 56
Chapter 5........................................................................................................................... 57
Conclusions ................................................................................................................... 57
Recom mendations for Future Studies............................................................................ 59
vii
Bibliography .................................................................................................................... 61
Appendix A .......................................................................................................................
65
Survey C over Letter....................................................................................................... 65
C A D/C A M Survey ........................................................................................................ 67
vlll
Chapter 1
Introduction
In today's global market, manufacturers must rely on new technologies to
capitalize on current market trends. Many companies have turned to Computer
Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) systems to help
develop and produce complex parts quickly. As these systems have advanced in
recent years, manufacturers struggle to maintain communications with suppliers
and exploit current advancements in software. This research is directed towards
analyzing and evaluating current criteria for selecting a CAD/CAM system for use
by small manufacturing companies. Company and software evaluation will be
considered to help in the selection of such a system.
Background of the Problem:
CAD/CAM systems have a history in assisting companies in design and
high-speed manufacturing. Since the nineteen eighties, manufacturing has
become dependent on these aids to perform critical tasks. Complex parts can be
designed quicker with software that enables the user to visually see the part and its
dimensions using CAD. These software programs can provide the compatibility to
1
assemble parts together, checking for fit while also providing the capability to edit
the part at any time. This allows complex designs to be made quicker, and more
accurately. CAM packages allow these complex parts to be brought to life by
calculating tool paths and writing the code to manufacture the part on a Computer
Numerical Controlled (CNC) machine such as a mill, lathe or EDM machine.
Human error is reduced and higher accuracy can be attained when manufacturing
parts that would be difficult to produce manually. Globally and locally there are
companies using obsolete packages to design and manufacture products.
Technology is changing very rapidly and most companies cannot keep up with the
changes. The need to know what CAD/CAM packages are available and how to
select one will help companies build for the future.
Statement of Problem:
The purpose of this study is to create a methodology that can be used to aid small
manufacturing companies in selecting a CAD/CAM system.
Objectives of the Study:
Collect data on CAD/CAM systems that are available in the market today.
Identify important criteria in CAD/CAM system selection.
2
Identify company and CAD/CAM system evaluation parameters to aid in
selection.
Increase the researchers knowledge of CAD/CAM systems and their
implementation.
Purpose:
The purpose of this study is to help small manufacturing companies in
selecting a CAD/CAM system by seeking out and grouping new technologies, and
evaluating system and company selection criteria. Many times companies do not
have the time or the capabilities to perform in-depth research in seeking out new
tools to aid their design or manufacturing processes. The problem is compounded
by the fact that these new technologies have been evolving at an accelerated rate.
Systems evolve frequently with new features making it difficult for users to know
what advancements are available. Companies also need to know what criterion is
important in selecting a CAD/CAM system. This involves evaluating a
company's needs in order to facilitate proper selection. A purchased system also
must meet certain requirements in order to minimize risk and maximize
efficiency. The significance of accumulating this criteria together will enable
3
companies to efficiently select a system that meets their needs, while also
capitalizing on a CAD/CAM system's utilities and features.
Limitations:
This study evaluates CAD/CAM systems based on product literature.
Actual performance of systems by demonstration is beyond the scope of this
study. Chosen criteria are based on the researchers personal views and surveyed
information from selected users of small manufacturing companies in
northwestern Wisconsin.
Some associated CAD/CAM technologies will not be discussed within this
study. Two-dimension drafting tools are not included in this evaluation due to the
wide acceptance of three-dimensional and solid modeling technologies. Due to
the main focus on CAD/CAM system selection, evaluation of Web interaction
tools and Project Data Management systems is beyond the scope of this study.
4
Definitions:
Assembly Drawing A drawing that can be created to represent a major
subdivision of the product, or the complete product.
Attribute A non-graphic characteristic of a part, component, or entity under
design on a CAD system.
Benchmark The program(s) used to test, compare, and evaluate in real time the
performance of various CAD/CAM systems prior to the selection and purchase.
Bills of Material (BOM) A list of all the subassemblies, parts, materials, and
quantities required to manufacture one assembled product or part, or build a plant.
A BOM can be generated automatically on some CAD/CAM systems.
CAD Computer Aided Design A process that uses a computer system to assist in
the creation, modification, storage, and display of a design.
CAM Computer Aided Manufacturing The use of a computer and digital
technology to generate manufacturing-oriented data. Data drawn from a
CAD/CAM database can assist in controlling a manufacturing process, including
numerically controlled machines, computer assisted parts programming, computer
assisted process planning, robotics, and programming logic controllers.
5
Compatibility The ability of a particular hardware module or software program,
code, or language to be used in a CAD/CAM system without prior modification or
special interfaces.
Computer Numerical Control (CNC) A technique in which a machine tool
control uses a mini computer to store NC instructions generated earlier by
CAD/CAM for controlling the machine.
Configuration A particular combination of a computer, software, and hardware
modules, and peripherals at a single installation and interconnected in such a way
as to support certain applications.
Cutter Compensation A method by which the programmed tool path is altered to
allow for the differences between actual and programmed cutter diameters.
Dedicated Designed or intended for a single function or use.
Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) A method of conductive material
removal through an electrical discharge by a formed electrode immersed in a
dielectric fluid.
Finite-Element Analysis (FEA) A method used in CAD for determining the
structural, thermal, and electrical integrity of mechanical parts or physical
construction under design by numerical simulation of the part and its lading
conditions.
6
G-Code Preparatory function code that establishes operating modes on CNC
controlled equipment.
Initial Graphics Exchange Specification (IGES) An interface product that
enables users to exchange CAD/CAM model data in a heterogeneous environment
independent of hardware and software systems, which was developed to aid in
communicating between early CAD systems.
Modeling, Solid A type of 3-D modeling in which the solid characteristics of an
object under design are built into the database, so that complex internal structures
and shapes can be realistically represented.
Numerical Control (NC) A technique of operation used with machine tools or
similar equipment in which motion is developed in response to numerically coded
commands.
Optimization, Design A process that uses a computer to determine the best
design to meet certain criteria. Algorithms may be applied to rapidly evaluate
many possible design alternatives in a comparatively short time.
Simulation A CAD/CAM program that simulates the effect of structural, thermal,
or kinematic conditions on the part under design.
STandard for the Exchange of Product (STEP) An interface product that
enables users to exchange CAD/CAM model data in a heterogeneous environment
7
independent of hardware and software systems, which was developed to aid in
communicating between contemporary solid modeling and CAD systems.
Stereolithography File (STL) A computer-aided prototyping file format used in
creating stereolithography models and also an interface product that enables users
to exchange CAD/CAM model data in a heterogeneous environment independent
of hardware and software systems.
Tutorial Prepared documentation displayed to provide information and guidance.
Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) A language for describing multiparticipant interactive simulations in three dimensions and virtual worlds
networked via the global Internet and hyper linked with the World Wide Web.
Workstation The work area and equipment used for CAD/CAM operations. It is
where the designer interacts or communicates with the computer.
8
Chapter 2
Literature Review
Introduction
Today CAD/CAM is within easy reach of just about all manufacturers,
and this technology has become the standard way of operating, rather than the
exception. (CAD/CAM traps and pitfalls, 1995) Companies need to utilize the
benefits of CAD/CAM in order to compete in today's market successfully.
CAD/CAM packages can reduce time in design and manufacturing, improve
communications, improve design quality, reduce errors, and help create a database
of standard documentation. In 1999 a projected 5.3 billion dollars will have been
spent on CAD/CAM systems. (Donelan, 1999) The availability of engineering
software designed specifically for desktop computers has increased the
accessibility of CAD/CAM. (Puttre, 1994) Companies need to choose the best
system to fully address their needs. This chapter will cover points associated with
CAD/CAM selection.
9
History
CAM was first invented in 1954, when MIT developed a programming
language to replace G-code. CAM software soon evolved from computer
language, to conversational, to graphic interactive, and then to the PC platform.
(Computers in Manufacturing, 1999) CAD began its commercial life in the 1970's
as two-dimensional drafting software. As computer technology evolved, CAD
grew in its advancements and its number of users. Today many programs have
combined these two technologies to form broad-based programs with exceptional
capabilities. CAD/CAM software has grown increasingly popular in the 1990's,
becoming a staple for modem businesses.
Benefits of using CAD/CAM
Computer Aided Design is a joining of human and machine, working
together to optimize design and manufacture of products. (Mantyla, 1995)
Computers allow designers to graphically test ideas in real time without having to
create real prototypes. This reduces engineering costs for an Original Equipment
Manufacturer, and also results in products getting to market faster. (Partnerships,
acquisitions highlight hot CAD/CAM market, 1999) Non technical team members
from management to marketing can work side by side with engineers to view,
10
discuss, change, and document a design in progress before they build a prototype.
This is an effective attribute of innovative designing that aids in identifying
design flaws and reinforces group "brain storming". (Computers in
Manufacturing, 1999) CAD/CAM systems permit for a more thorough
engineering analysis and a larger number of design alternatives to be investigated,
(Mohammed, 1990) saving time through minimization of mistakes early in the
design process. Most systems automatically create a Bill of Materials to save time
and improve communication. Locating drawings in a known place on a network
results in better documentation and improved communication between
departments and vendors. The result is fewer misinterpretations and a better
product flow. The benefit of using CAD/CAM analytical tools is that they permit
design improvements that would have been too expensive to implement in the
past. (Computers in Manufacturing, 1999) New integrated software tools that are
commercially available have been developed which allow design engineers to
perform finite element analysis directly, during the early stages of design, thereby
ensuring that the best design intent is achieved. (McGuffie, 2000) This in turn
reduces final prototype numbers, lowers design costs, and decreases time to
market. Programs can also use part optimization to reduce mass and maximize
part efficiencies. Both of these features allow for quicker revisions and shorter
11
cycle times to create the part at maximum efficiency. Recent advancements in
CAD/CAM systems allow for quicker design cycles today than even a few years
ago. Today's systems are much more user friendly and can utilize current trends
in Windows® computing. Some packages allow for the integration into a
company wide program to create maximum effectiveness throughout the company
by incorporating different facets of production.
Solid Modeling
Solid computer models are the most sophisticated forms of geometric
modeling. (CAD/CAM traps and pitfalls, 1995) Modeling applications use threedimensional entities and define relationships between these entities. (Wilson,
1997) These relationships are created through boundary representation. Boundary
representation stores all geometric information along with relationships between
faces, edges, and vertices. Every piece of the part is parameterized so that control
points defining each surface have a driving dimensional value. (Basics of design
engineering: CAD/CAM, 1997) This allows the part to be represented more
completely but creates a larger file of topological data. Parts can also be
parametrically driven, allowing for geometric information to automatically adjust
to changes in parameters. Volume and mass calculations are easily made in most
12
programs, aiding in part optimization. Control points on solid modelers are
interwoven within the entire model, sometimes making it time consuming to
correct a detail that is defined incorrectly. (Dehl, 1998)
Solid modeling software mostly utilizes two kernels, ACIS and Parasolids.
They are the core of a modeler, providing the complex mathematical algorithms
needed to create a given solid. Most vendors employ one of the two in their
programs allowing for differences and discrepancies between packages. They are
utilized as graphics engines allowing for communication between CAD and CAM
systems by creating file formats with accurate model description.
Surface Modeling
Surface modeling offers different advantages to part creation as compared
to solid modeling. Surface modeling software tends to be easier to use, providing
straightforward ways of manipulating curves and surface shapes. Wire frame
models contain information about the lines and vertices, which make up the edges
of a part. (Basics of design engineering: CAD/CAM, 1997) They require less
memory to store than solid models and are often considered the simplest of
modeling types. Many times surface modeling is used to correspond with solid
13
modelers by creating a surface and incorporating that surface into a solid. This is
possible only when minimal conflicts arise with compatibility.
CAM Software
CAM software is the link between a computer model and a finished part.
CAM software takes a model or a surface and converts it into NC code to allow
CNC machining equipment to produce the part. The most flexible method
converts the part into polyhedrons consisting of numerous triangles. The user
defines the accuracy required, and the CAM system determines how many facets
or triangles will be generated on the basis of the accuracy needed. (Dehl, 1998)
NC software is frequently grouped according to the number of machining axes the
package can control. (Basics of design engineering: CAD/CAM, 1997) Most
programs create optimized tool paths to produce the shortest number of program
steps, thus shortening machining time. CAM software must have the capabilities
to communicate with different model files in order to decrease the chance of
possible misinterpretation. Recently some assembly and solid modelers partnered
with NC software companies to produce integrated solid machining (Dehl, 1998),
reducing the risk of possible mistakes.
14
System Criteria
There are several criteria that need to be addressed when purchasing a
CAD/CAM system for small manufacturing firms. The study will define small
manufacturing companies as companies with less than fifty employees or less than
fifty million dollars in gross sales. By defining system requirements, users can
optimize on current trends and better determine a company's needs.
Ease of Use
Ease of use is a major factor when considering a new CAD/CAM system.
If a system is difficult to operate, the end user will not perform up to their
optimum potential, limiting end results and possible job satisfaction. One way that
software companies are aiding use issues is to mimic the successful Microsoft
Windows® architecture. This enables data to be shared with other applications at
runtime, without the need for intermediate file translation. (Wilson, 1997) This
also eliminates possible high-level data loss while linking it to other
heterogeneous systems in a 'live' fashion. Geometric relationships are maintained
throughout an application resulting in seamless integration. This architecture
supports embedding, display, and in place activation, as well as access and control
of model geometry and topology through the native design. (Wilson, 1997)
15
Another consideration is program help. Many systems today provide help
indexes, online help, tutorials, and extended data information. Often times an
Internet browser is used to view help information that can be displayed in several
file formats. In the event that CAD product information is needed, the end user
must be able to gather this information instantly and efficiently. By maximizing
help opportunities, operators become more efficient and are better equipped to
handle future problems.
The user interface should be straightforward, with minimal hidden menus
so users can quickly perform tasks. Repeatability and productivity can increase
dramatically when functions are readily available with minimum searching.
Added Features
CAD/CAM systems today must be able to utilize features that can be
plugged-in or added on at a later date. Systems that can be upgraded are better
suited for smaller manufacturers, due to the lower initial cost with the opportunity
to expand in the future.
One feature that is often standard with many software packages is tool
path optimization. This feature maximizes cutter wear to prolong life by adjusting
feed rates. (Computers in Manufacturing, 1999) The program analyzes the rate of
material removal and assigns the best possible feed rate. Tool path generation
16
should be created with optimal efficiency and minimal interaction. The CAM
system should be able to output an optimized tool path that has been curve-fit
within a specified tolerance. This reduces the machining file size substantially,
improves surface finish, and allows for higher feed rates. CAM systems should
support standard, bullnosed, and ballnosed end mills, with full gouge avoidance
on each. (Dehl, 1998) A system that allows users to graphically cut and paste
operations into an operations manager should also be utilized. This allows for
easier planning, organizing and reordering of cutting routines. This will also
allow the user to specify various cutting methods for any portion of the model.
An undesirable function is scallop height control, which calculates the smallest
step over requirement on a surface, and then applies that step over to the entire
surface.
Another CAD/CAM feature that should be considered is the ability to
simulate sheet metal forming. Many programs today are capable of modeling
sheet metal forms, allowing users to accurately, quickly, and easily design sheet
metal parts with the proper bend allowances.
Numerous programs are including part optimization as either a standard
feature, or a feature that can possibly be added on at a later date. Part optimization
analyzes a solid model and improves its strength and minimizes mass by
17
modifying the original design. The program looks at critical areas and modifies
accordingly. This feature is very useful due to the fact that it helps create an
optimum part, improving durability and strength while maintaining a minimum
weight penalty.
Finite Element Analysis can also be used to analyze a part, but often
simply provides insight into the location of high stress points. The designer can
use this information to determine where the potential for failure exists. Users can
generally view color-coded maps of stress concentrations, but with additional
information about plastic strain or surface elongation analysis. (Basics of design
engineering: CAD/CAM, 1997) Newer FEA codes have been developed to handle
nonlinear deformations, those where assumptions of linearity do not hold true.
(Basics of design engineering: CAD/CAM, 1997) Many of these packages include
stamping, welding, casting, and molding simulations, which take much of the
guesswork out of these manufacturing processes. (Computers in Manufacturing,
1999) According to the staff at Machine Design, FEA analysis identifies 70% to
80% of the problems likely to arise in manufacturing. (Computers in
Manufacturing, 1999) It allows for quick revision and helps minimize the risk of
future problems.
18
Many CAD/CAM companies offer libraries consisting of standard parts,
features, tools, mold bases, connectors, pipe fittings, symbols, and human body
dimensions on the World Wide Web, allowing users to employ these models in
the design process. By providing access to these models, designers are able to
incorporate them into assemblies faster and more accurately. This up front
conceptual work can make the engineer 25% more productive. (Computers in
Manufacturing, 1999) Many models of commercially available parts are also
available to everyone via the World Wide Web.
Compatibility
A pressing issue that is currently being addressed throughout the software
community is cross platform communication. Communication is critical in the
fast transaction of knowledge required in today's market. Translation of file
formats is critical within an organization and with vendors. In years past, a
programmer was required to translate a wireframe design into a CAM system. The
surfaced or solid data would either not translate or only partially translate,
creating the need to fix portions of the model to produce the correct part. (Pollet,
1999) Today, many vendors utilize a comprehensive manufacturing system
allowing for seamless conversion from computer model to generating an NC
program. The set of data points used to machine the model comes from the same
19
computer model. (Dehl, 1998) The term "open system" is used to describe the
ease by which data can be created by one system and readily used by, or imported
into, other systems. This capability will minimize and hopefully eliminate the
need to enter the same data several times into different products. (Pollet, 1999) In
today's computer age, file transfer is generally used for communicating rather
than the exchanging of paper drawings, making electronic transfer the norm.
(Janowski, 1999) The advantages associated with electronic file transfer include
eliminating time-consuming paper documentation, accelerating product release to
market (Dehl, 1998), minimizing misunderstandings, cutting travel time and
expenses, creating timely feedback of people involved (Computers in
Manufacturing, 1999), and allowing for a more complete set of data to
manufacture the product. Many file translators have been written independently
by CAD or CAM software companies (Janowski, 1999), so a conversion standard
has been difficult to implement. There are two basic types of file translators,
neutral and direct. Neutral translators convert proprietary data to a general
industry standard, such as the common file formats developed by using IGES,
STEP, STL, BMP, TIFF, JPEG, and ASCII . This promotes the term "flavoring,"
which allows translators to put their own specific translations on the data. Direct
translators interpret data into a CAD software's proprietary format, such as
20
AutoCAD and CADKEY DXF and DWG, Pro-Engineer and Solidworks PRT,
Parasolid X_T, and I-DEAS MF and MF2. (Janowski, 1999)
Another rapid form of file transfer occurs by use of the World Wide Web.
Studies have found that most engineers only spend 20% of their time designing
products. Nearly twice that time is spent looking for and verifying data regarding
design revision. (Small, 1998) Web communication offers the fastest feedback
channel and allows for quick interaction. In some instances, the Web allows for
face time or real time interaction. This allows people to see and interact with their
business partners by pointing to some feature on a drawing or model, receiving
instant feedback that prompts further discussion, while eliminating costly and
timely business trips. (Computers in Manufacturing, 1999) Some programs allow
users to revise models in real time on the Web allowing for design review and
revision to occur concurrently. (Computers in Manufacturing, 1999) This also
allows different users to work simultaneously on the same design. (Basics of
design engineering: CAD/CAM, 1997)
Benchmarking
One aid that can be used in the selection of a CAD/CAM system is
benchmarking. Benchmarking provides a point of reference from which
performance measurements can be made. This insures that the benchmarked
21
companies possess the necessary hardware/software required to perform the task,
and that it can be done more productively. (Coticchia, Crawford, Preston, 1993)
Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation, SPEC, has written benchmark
tests that make use of various sizes of CAD/CAM solid models. These tests are
timed based on common user interaction with the models (Graphics benchmark
debut, 1998), and provide indicators on intensively used hardware components.
When testing any CAD/CAM system, performance evaluations must be made
based on the most complex part likely to be created. (Dehl, 1998) This provides
proper feedback on the evaluation, reducing the risk of choosing an improper
system for a customer's specific needs.
Efficiency and Effectiveness
To most managers, efficiency and effectiveness play a major role in the
selection of a CAD/CAM system. Design errors found late in the production cycle
generate unwanted costs through time and rework, minimizing both efficiency and
effectiveness. (Computers in Manufacturing, 1999) This usually leads to
decreased moral, increased costs, and customer dissatisfaction. By being able to
work efficiently, wasted time and effort is reduced, increasing profits and
employee gratification. An important feature available with most CAD/CAM
packages is the ability to customize libraries, part families, custom menus, and
22
programs that store rules for design of certain components. (CAD/CAM traps and
pitfalls, 1995) In many instances this reduces the time to perform a task, with the
potential of saving substantial amounts of money in the long term. Without
customization, users may miss opportunities to make an application more
productive and truly optimized for their business. (CAD/CAM traps and pitfalls,
1995)
The solution is to have a competitive design process that utilizes effective
management of component data, efficient reuse of design information, immediate
access to new component information, and automated transfer of this information
within desktop tools. (Small, 1998)
Price
Price is one element that cannot be overlooked. To many manufacturers,
price is one of the most important factors when buying a system; unfortunately it
is often misused and misunderstood. According to Kenneth Kombluh of Sci-Tech
International, "There is no relationship between price and value." Many lower
priced systems have almost as much functionality, and are easier to use.
(Engineering productivity kit: CAD/CAM/CAE, 1999) Often times consumers
will purchase a higher priced system thinking they will receive a higher return on
23
investment. This correlation may not be the case and a self-assessment of needs
should be performed before basing a purchase on price alone.
Vendor Demonstrations
Vender demonstrations allow customers to try software before purchasing.
This allows customers to evaluate programs using personal criteria and data
specifications. Often, purchasers can usually download free program
demonstrations from a vendor's Web site or request a trial version on Compact
Disc. This can provide the user a preview of the program and also address
compatibility issues that may occur with the users existing software and hardware.
(Engineering productivity kit: CAD/CAM/CAE, 1999) Tight integration with
other tools, sharing and accessing data and files, accurate data transfer, and the
distribution of viewing files are all items that need evaluation.
Program Support and Service
Program support and services contribute a significant role in CAD/CAM
selection. With technology changing rapidly, users are forced to rely on vendors
and software producers for support through a transition. By evaluating a provider,
the user will gain insight into how their service performs and what support
avenues are available. While most programs use help libraries and indexes stored
locally, some offer this support through the Internet, creating inconveniences if
24
the connection is broken. User groups of industry professionals often meet to
discuss experiences and specific topics associated with particular CAD/CAM
packages. Also look for help from suppliers, vendors, and even fellow employees
to answer questions on pressing issues.
Company Needs
The first step in justifying a CAD/CAM system for a company is to
identify what the company truly needs. According to John McEleney of
Solidworks, there are three fundamental questions to ask, what are you trying to
accomplish, why are you trying to accomplish it, and the time frame you want to
accomplish it in. (Engineering productivity kit: CAD/CAM/CAE, 1999) By
defining these questions, companies can calculate essential needs. Other questions
may include how often would you use it, future company growth expectations,
and who the potential users may be. Standards, personnel, and procedures may
need to be redefined with a system selection, so identification becomes critical.
Upon answering these fundamental questions, a company must analyze the
system life cycle. The system life cycle continues to grow shorter due to new
technological advances occurring rapidly. In many cases, time becomes the
number one constraint. How long a system may be used and how quickly it can be
25
utilized are a few important questions that must be asked and the answers of
which can have a profound impact on selection.
A committee should select the system in order to provide
interdepartmental feedback that will help support the final decision.
Representatives from every department should have input in order to fully define
needs, and also to maximize all possible benefits. The possibility of utilizing
future Project Data Management systems in company wide applications of storage
and distribution, resulting in efficient data refinement that is automatic and secure,
should be considered.
Justification may be attained through cost analysis of current and future
practices. The prospective company may need to gather specific information on
number of users, regular hours used, current overtime or outsourcing in design
and drafting, percent of time spent generating and updating drawings or models
(Amirouche, 1993), and cost benefits attributed to this data.
Total Cost of Ownership
The total cost of owning a system is based on multiple factors that should
be investigated before purchasing a system. The base cost is the software and add
on purchases. It then becomes critical that computer hardware is compatible with
the purchased system. The latest software has grown larger and larger in memory
26
space and CPU speed requirements. Often new hardware must be purchased in
order to utilize purchased software.
Maintenance issues become important if the purchased system requires a
substantial amount of upkeep. Software expansion and possible upgrades should
be investigated prior to the initial purchase. Some CAD companies try to maintain
their income through a steady stream of upgrades to their installed base
customers. (CAD/CAM traps and pitfalls, 1995) Upgrades can have advantages
but sometimes they may not include substantial advances, they have a possibility
of containing new bugs, and customized programs may not work with newer
versions. Waiting for other program users to put an upgrade into production
reduces the chance for future problems.
Training cost can play a significant role in the total cost of a system. Mike
Paludan of Solid Edge says the purchaser must include the time employees are
away from their job, training expenses through outside professionals or internal
training, and the time it takes for the user to be productive. (Engineering
productivity kit: CAD/CAM/CAE, 1999) Training may be required for upgrades,
initial purchase, and to train new employees.
27
Future
It is difficult to predict the future of CAD/CAM systems in that no one can
predict where future technologies may lead. Computers will continue to get faster,
smaller, and less expensive, increasing everyone's accessibility and allowing for
more advanced CAD/CAM capabilities. (Computers in Manufacturing, 1999) The
era of proprietary software for CNC equipment is fading. (Partnerships,
acquisitions highlight hot CAD/CAM market, 1999) The International Standards
Organization is working to implement a standard for transferring electronic data
to eliminate miscommunication. (Janowski, 1999) Compatibility is and will
continue to be a main issue in the future, leading to more universal applications
that will directly affect companies by improving overall functionality.
28
Chapter 3
Methodology
This chapter will introduce the methods and procedures used to determine
the functional requirements when selecting a CAD/CAM system. A survey was
given to industry professionals to aid in determining what criteria are being used
in CAD/CAM selection. To help evaluate available system features, a variety of
different software packages that are currently available will be discussed.
Research Design
All subjects were chosen through a simplified selection process to assure
representation of all groups in the sample. Subjects were selected from the
Wisconsin Manufacturers Directory and divided into a geographic group located
in the northwestern Wisconsin area. The criteria used for sample selection
included number of employees and net sales. Users of CAD/CAM systems in
manufacturing companies with fifty or less employees and/or net sales below fifty
million dollars were selected. This resulted in the selection of one hundred forty
eight companies for the survey.
29
Data Collection
The survey was mailed on March 7, 2000 to each selected subject within
five Wisconsin counties. These counties include: Eau Claire, Chippewa, Dunn,
Pierce, and Polk. Surveys were coded to indicate which companies responded
within the representative sample. One hundred percent of the sample was
surveyed due to a total population of only one hundred forty eight companies.
Results were to be mailed back by March 24, 2000, using a self-addressed
envelope included with the mailing.
Instrumentation
The developed survey (refer to Appendix A) posed questions related to
CAD/CAM system requirements, selection, and pertinent company information.
The survey was preceded by an introduction to the research being performed and a
brief explanation of the survey instrument. Contact information was included with
the survey materials should the recipients have had any questions about the
survey.
30
System Evaluation
There are many programs available throughout the software industry that deal
with Computer Aided Design and Computer Aided Manufacturing. Five common
CAD systems and two common CAM systems will be discussed based on several
features identified by the researcher. They are as follows:
·
3D modeling capabilities
*
Surface modeling capabilities
*
Drafting utilities
·
System features
·
Rendering options
•
Translators
* The support and services offered
*
Add-ons available
·
Operating system used
•
File management options
* Libraries available
*
Software partners
*
Internet/Intranet capabilities
31
·
System hardware requirements
Due to the twenty-four different.systems listed by surveyed respondents, this
study will only discuss seven of the most common systems found in industry.
The systems that will be discussed in this study are as follows:
·
CADKEY 99 produced by the CADKEY Corporation.
*
Mechanical Desktop produced by Autodesk Inc.
*
Solidworks produced by Solidworks Corporation.
·
Pro-Engineer produced by Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC).
·
I-DEAS produced by Structural Dynamics Research Corporation (SDRC).
*
Mastercam produced by CNC Software Inc.
*
SURFCAM produced by Surfware Inc.
Key features available with the products from these CAD/CAM companies
will be discussed in the following sections, providing insight into these systems.
CADKEY® 99
CADKEY 99 is a multi-functional CAD environment in that it supports
two-dimensional drafting, wireframe modeling, and the generation of threedimensional solid models. It is capable of expanding two-dimensional profiles
into solid models, volume verification, interference checking between assemblies,
32
and redefinition of a given model. Users can generate "machinable" surface
models that can be used with CAM applications. CADKEY 99 can also generate
two-dimensional drawing layouts from solid models to reduce drafting tasks.
Photo realistic rendering is provided to allow users to apply textures, light
sources, ray tracing or perspective views to models.
CADKEY provides interoperability tools to repair imported model
geometry, allowing for easier data translation between different systems. Several
file translators, such as STEP, IGES, DXF, DWG, SAT, Parasolid XT, and STL,
are offered at no additional cost. CADKEY has many alliances with other
software companies to provide integration from standard CADKEY files into
another system. A list of these solution partners can be viewed at
www.cadkey.com/solprt/index.htm.
TRUE TEXT and POWER-PAK are two add on utilities offered by
CADKEY. When used together, they create solid or wireframe text along a curved
path, or convert splines to smooth arc contours.
CADKEY Corporation offers free technical support by fax or Email,
through online technical notes, a discussion area, and tips allowing users to access
topics and information anytime. CADKEY operates on Windows® NT or
Windows® 95/98 operating systems. It requires at minimum a 150 MHz
33
processor, CD-ROM drive, 64 MB of RAM, 200 MB of hard drive space for file
swapping, 4 MB RAM OpenGL video card, and 90 MB of hard drive space for
installation. (Web site, www.cadkey.com)
Mechanical Desktop Release 4
Mechanical Desktop unites parametric three-dimensional modeling with
two-dimensional drafting capabilities resulting in one user design interface. Team
members can work concurrently using a streamlined catalog interface with simple
drag and drop procedures. The user can also access and edit multiple files in one
session, allowing for geometry to be copied between drawings.
Autodesk provides online courses and tutorials, training centers and
manuals to help answer user questions pertaining to technical problems.
Add-on features included with Mechanical Desktop are: resistance
capabilities to objects under static load; a generator that creates springs, shaft,
belts and chains; the ability to perform calculations on two and three-dimensional
parts. Autodesk also offers an optional library called Power Pack, which adds over
1.2 million two and three-dimensional pre-drawn parts, holes, features, and
standards.
34
The standard Mechanical Desktop system will exchange data in BMP,
EPS, DWF, DWG, DXF, IDF, IGES, VDA-FS, VRML, SAT, STL, WMF, and
3DS file formats. An AutoCAD Data Exchange CD can be purchased separately
to ensure complete data translation across many diverse CAD systems.
Mechanical Desktop will generate detailed views of the solid model for
associative drafting, and allows for changes performed in either environment to
update the other instantaneously. Users can purchase 3D Studio MAX release 3 or
3D Studio VIZ release 3, which produces photo realistic renderings, animations,
and presentations.
Autodesk has a growing alliance of leading mechanical applications
developers, providing seamless data integration. A list of these solution partners
can be viewed at http://www.autodesk.com/develop/mai/index.htm.
Mechanical Desktop will run on Windows® NT, 95, or 98 environments.
At a minimum, Mechanical Desktop requires a 300 MHz processor, 680 MB of
hard disk space, a graphic card and OpenGL video card with 4 MB of video Ram,
and 256 MB of RAM for large assemblies. (Web site, www.autodesk.com)
35
Solidworks® 2000
Solidworks is a Windows-native three-dimensional design software
system. It can be used to create solid models as well as provide surfacing
capabilities. Several new features include increased ease of use and a simple,
comprehensive part migration from a two-dimensional to a three-dimensional
design environment. The unique drag and drop capabilities can be used to quickly
create different designs based on features developed for existing designs.
Solidworks is provided with sheet metal design capabilities that let the user model
in three-dimensions or with correct three-dimensional geometry when modeling in
two-dimensions. It has a built in drafting component called RapidDraft, which
allows users to work on drawings and assemblies separately, and then requires
synchronization of the changes. Drafting utilities can generate detailed views of
the solid model. Solidworks also offers eDrawings, an email enabled
communications tool designed to ease the sharing and interpretation of twodimensional mechanical drawings.
Solidworks is capable of working with DXF, DWG, SAT, STL, VDAFS,
VRML, IGES, STEP, and Parasolid native file formats. Xchangeworks is also
offered by Solidworks as a free data translation plug-in for use in AutoCAD and
Mechanical Desktop, providing the capability to import data from most other
36
mechanical CAD products available on the market. Solidworks has many software
partners, and they can be viewed at
www.solidworks.com/swdocs/SolutionPartner/html/partnerquery.cfm.
Solidworks Explorer is a free file management tool included with the
program, which is similar to Windows® Explorer. It is designed to automate
typical operations that users are accustomed to using when managing files, such
as copying, renaming, and regulating properties. It also allows users to view file
discrepancies that occur for drawings, parts, and assemblies using a tree structure.
An annual subscription entitles users to upgrades, hotline support,
technical tips, and a model library via the Solidworks Web site.
Photoworks provides users with rendering capabilities that are integrated
with Solidworks. Users can also use the Solidworks Animator to create
animations to better communicate design concepts.
Solidworks operates on Windows® NT, 95, 98, and 2000 operating
systems. It requires at minimum a Pentium® class processor, 64 MB of RAM, a
graphics card with OpenGL, a CD-ROM drive. Microsoft® Office 97 or 2000 is
also recommended. (Web site, www.solidworks.com)
37
Pro-Engineer 2000i 2
Pro-Engineer 2000i 2 is a parametric feature based modeler. It has been a
dominant choice in the mid to high-end price range by manufacturing companies
for its solid modeling capabilities in the past. New features include drag and drop
capabilities, enhanced sketching operations and intelligent features. One standard
feature included is an Associative Drawing Table, which provides detailed reports
that associatively update with any changes made to the design, and that sort and
filter information within a drawing to communicate design details such as BOM's.
Pro-Engineer parts, assemblies, and process plans can also be exported to
complete Web pages using standard HTML, VRML, CGM, JPEG formats and
Java applets, for viewing on the Internet or intranet using a standard Web
browser. The core foundation also comes with a programmable interface, sheet
metal design tools, weld modeling, behavioral modeling, and surface modeling.
A major advantage of Pro-Engineer has been the capability of importing
and exporting a wide variety of file formats. Pro-Engineer has direct file
translators for CADDS 5, CATIA, PDGS, CADAM, MEDUSA, and AutoCAD
DXF/DWG. It also has standard translators that can be used for IGES, STEP,
SET, VDA, ECAD, CGM, COSMOS/M, PATRAN/SUPERTAB, SLA, JPEG,
TIFF, RENDER, STL, VRML, INVENTOR, and XPATCH file formats.
38
Full detail documentation and two-dimensional drafting are included in the
Pro-Engineer foundation. This allows users to create custom formats, all types of
views, programmable drawing, and standard detail /drafting capabilities. Photo
realistic images can also be generated to evaluate design aesthetics, evaluate
surface quality, or create a communication media for sales and marketing.
Pro-Engineer provides access to expandable libraries of standard parts,
features, tools, mold bases, connectors, pipefittings, symbols, and human body
dimensions. This allows users to easily insert items into a design or assembly, or
add components to the library to be accessed by others.
Some add-on features available for Pro-Engineer 2000 include:
·
ModelCHECK, which helps quickly locate and reuse existing designs.
*
NC programming and simulation tool set.
*
A Tool Design Mold catalog, which allows users to define, select and
place standard mold items such as ejector or core pins.
·
Routing Systems Option to design, route, document, and produce harness
and piping systems.
*
Plastics Advisor Option, to simulate mold filling for injection molded
plastic parts.
39
·
Mechanism Design Extension, which allows users to assemble parts using
pre-defined connections such as a pin or ball joint.
*
Design Animation, a tool to convey information about a product or
process through animation sequences.
*
Application Programming Toolkit, which allows users to create
applications that run parallel to Pro-Engineer to integrate product
information, such as with the users MRP/ERP systems.
·
CADAM Migration to maintain, modify, and revise mainframe CADAM
drawings.
Parametric Technology Corporation offers technical support via the
telephone or Internet twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Their Internet
site also has over fourteen thousand technical documents that users can reference
for information. PTC has many software partners, and a list can be viewed at
http://www.ptc.com/for/partners.htm.
Minimum system requirements necessary to run Pro-Engineer 2000
include: Pentium® type processor, Microsoft® Windows NT/95/98/2000, 64MB
of main memory, 400 MB of disk space, 128 MB of swap space, S3 compatible
graphics, CD-ROM, and VFAT for Windows 95/98, HPFS, NTFS for Windows
NT. (Web site, www.ptc.com)
40
I-DEAS 8
I-DEAS 8 is a system that offers CAD/CAM/CAE to customers in the mid to
high-end price range. New features include dynamic drag and drop interaction and
dynamic assembly manipulation. I-DEAS supports free form surface modeling,
feature based solid, surface, and hybrid models, and assembly management. The
user can create, simulate, optimize, document, build, and test products all within a
single electronic environment. I-DEAS Master Drafting provides two-dimensional
drawings converted from solid models. Master Drafting can also replace twodimensional drawings with a three-dimensional digital prototype that encapsulates
all necessary information required to manufacture the product.
A popular feature offered with this software is file management. Parts
must be checked in or checked out of libraries to help control drawing changes,
viewing, and security. Parts files have the capability to maintain intelligent
associations so other users can also access and utilize information.
Communication is also enhanced through supporting concurrent or team
engineering. It provides the ability to document and communicate all
manufacturing information in three-dimensions so it can be shared by team
members within a project environment. I-DEAS distributes finite element
41
information for viewing by the entire engineering organization through its library
storage.
Web training of I-DEAS is based on a wide range of topics through
overviews, detailed descriptions, tutorials, and a library of parts and assemblies. IDEAS offers over 100 online tutorials and a full help library. Technical support is
also provided by means of telephone and email.
Many forms of file translation are offered with this software. Files can be
directly translated with companies such as MSC, CSA, UAI, COSMIC
NASTRAN, CADAM CADDS, CATIA, ABAQUS, and ANSYS, creating more
integration capability while reducing translation errors. Standard file translations
of PCB, ASCII, CMX, ATS, DWG, IGES, SET, STEP, OLE/DM, STL, JAMA
I.S., VRML are also available with the standard software.
I-DEAS offers several add on features, which include the following:
*
Imageware Surfacer V10, for reverse engineering, surface design, and
evaluation.
* VGX Core/Cavity, which creates mold or die halves for injection molding,
casting, or forging.
*
Generative Machining, which creates NC machining programs.
*
Metaphase Series 2, a data management system that utilizes I-DEAS.
42
·
Master Surfacing, which allows design and modification of complex
sculptured surface parts.
*
I-DEAS View and Markup, which is a module for viewing and
commenting on drawings and designs.
*
Drafting Symbols Catalog, which contains over 20000 symbols to meet
ANSI, JIS, and ISO standards.
*
Open I-DEAS, a highly flexible open architecture toolkit used for
customizing, automating, or integrating custom or third party applications
and data translators.
Minimum system requirements needed to run SDRC I-DEAS include:
Pentium® type processor, Microsoft® Windows NT 4.0, 2 GB hard disk, 128 MB
of swap space, and CD-ROM. Compatible graphics cards, minimum graphic
memory requirements and software are listed at www.sdrc.com/ideas/hardware/7wnt/index.shtml. (Web site, www.sdrc.com)
Mastercam
Mastercam is a Windows based CAD/CAM software system used for
simulating two through five-axis milling, turning, and 2 or 4 axis wire EDM. The
package also includes three dimensional design, drafting, and surface modeling
43
modules. Lathe, wire, and three levels of milling modules are offered. Full
drafting, dimensioning, and rendering are included with this modeling suite.
Dimension generation that utilizes drag and place drafting notes can be created
and attribute changes automatically updated from model changes.
Built in file translators include IGES, SAT, DXF, CADL, VDA, ASCII,
STL, and ASCII text. An optional DWG converter and a new translator to read
STEP data into version 7.2C are available at an additional cost.
Mastercam offers several forms of technical support, which includes a
bulletin board system, support from Mastercam dealers, and technical support by
telephone Monday through Friday eight a.m. to six p.m., eastern standard time.
Mastercam has many software partners, and a list can be viewed at
http://www.mastercam.com.
Minimum system requirements to operate Mastercam software are the
following: Pentium®-based PC, Windows® NT 4.0 (or higher), 95 or 98, and a
minimum of 64 MB RAM.
SURFCAM
Surfware Inc. is a CAD/CAM software company that specializes in
manufacturing applications. They offer several different product lines that
44
include: SURFCAM Design Products, SURFCAM Solids, SURFCAM Solids
PhotoEffects, SURFCAM Verify PLUS 3,4, and 5 Axis, and SURFCAM
Manufacturing Products. An optional SAT translator that converts ACIS SAT
files into SURFCAM DSN files is also available.
SURFCAM Design is a wireframe-modeling version of SURFCAM with a
true three-dimensional database used for part design, dimensioning, and editing.
This includes DXF, CADL, and a write only IGES translator.
SURFCAM Solids is a modeling package that utilizes Solidworks98Plus.
Parts that are generated through Solidworks98Plus can be directly translated into
SURFCAM machining file format. Users receive all the standard features
available with Solidworks software.
SURFCAM offers machining modules separately, to let users select the
best fit within their price range. These modules include SURFCAM Lathe, and
two through five Axis and Axis Plus SURFCAM Milling. All of these modules
include SURFCAM Design and toolpath verification. SURFCAM 2 Axis includes
two-axis wire EDM and 2 Axis Plus includes four-axis wire EDM.
SURFCAM 99 is a complete machining software package, which includes
features from the previous modules. It has translators for CADKEY, AutoCAD,
45
DXF, ASCII, CATIA, IGES, NCAL, Parasolid (X_T), Solid Edge, Solidworks,
SAT, SPAC, STL, and VDA.
SURFCAM Solid PhotoEffects creates realistic images from solid models.
The user can specify part properties including lighting color, texture, reflectance,
and transparency. A library consisting of pre-defined materials, which includes
metals, plastics, and woods to name a few, is provided as a standard feature with
this module.
SURFCAM Verify provides users the ability to read APT-CL files and GCode output. Simulations can be performed while providing a display of fixtures,
multiple graphic views, dynamic rotation, and record and playback features.
SURFCAM offers support through a secure Internet site and by telephone,
and training is offered throughout the year. SURFCAM has many software
partners, and a list can be viewed at http://www.surfware.com/m-search.htm.
Minimum system requirements necessary to run SURFCAM include:
Pentium® type processor, Microsoft® Windows NT/95/98/2000, 32MB of main
memory, 1.2 GB hard drive, 64 Bit Video Card with 2MB of memory, 6X CDROM, and VFAT for Windows 95/98, HPFS, NTFS for Windows NT. (Web site,
www.surfware.com)
46
Chapter 4
Results
This chapter will provide a detailed overview of the survey instrument
results sent to industry professionals March 7, 2000. By collecting information on
current industry practices from a variety of manufacturers throughout
northwestern Wisconsin, these results can be used to identify functional
requirements that need to be addressed when selecting a CAD/CAM system for
small manufacturing companies.
Of the one hundred forty-eight companies surveyed, forty-seven
responded, resulting in a return rate of thirty-two percent. Twenty-eight of these
companies, sixty percent, were currently using a CAD or CAM system. Forty
percent, eighteen companies, were not using a CAD/CAM system. With the
advantages of CAD/CAM system, it is surprising that forty percent of the
surveyed companies are not using some form of CAD/CAM.
47
Number of Years Organizations have used CAD
16
14
12
Number of 10
Surveyed 8
Users
6
2
Oto 1
1to3
3 to 5
5to 10
10+
Years
Figure 1 Years Organizations Used CAD
Seventeen different CAD systems were being used within the twenty-eight
companies that responded to using a CAD or CAM system. Eight of the
companies were using multiple systems. Using the following scale, 0 to 1, 1 to 3,
3 to 5, 5 to 10, and 10+, surveyed users were asked how many years their
organization had been using CAD (refer to Figure 1). These companies had been
using their CAD system for an average of five to ten years.
48
Number of Years Organizations have used CAM
6
5
4
Numbered of
Surveyed 3
Users
2
0
0 to 1
1to 3
3 to
55 to 10
10+
Years
Figure 2 Years Organizations Used CAM
Seven different CAM systems were being used within the fourteen
companies that responded to using CAM. Six of the companies were using a
CAM package associated with their CAD system. Using the following scale, 0 to
1, 1 to 3, 3 to 5, 5 to 10, and 10+, surveyed users were asked how many years
their organization had been using CAM (refer to Figure 2). These companies had
been using their CAM system for an average of five years. With many companies
using systems older than five years, many benefits available with new
technologies were not being capitalized on.
49
Capabilities
Efficiency
Functionality
Price
Support
Import/Export
Communications
Operating system
Viewing
Analysis
Expandability
Kernel
Mean
1.43
1.92
2.17
2.52
2.54
2.56
2.67
2.92
2.92
3.16
3.25
3.82
Std Dev
0.51
0.83
1.23
0.60
0.83
1.16
1.13
1.04
1.00
1.07
0.86
0.88
Table 1 Important Selection Criteria
Users ranked the criteria shown in Table 1 by importance, 1 being most
important, 2 being important, 3 being fairly important, 4 being least important,
and 5 being not important. The results shown in Table 1 rank the system's
capabilities and efficiency of use as most important to important criteria used in
selecting a CAD/CAM system. Functionality, price, support, import/export
capabilities, and communication were rated as important to fairly important
criteria used in selecting a CAD/CAM system.
Other criteria that surveyed users suggested were an important aid in
CAD/CAM selection were the compatibility with customers, a system that was
consistent with other corporate facilities, and a properly trained use base.
50
One hundred percent of the companies surveyed that had a CAD/CAM
system, selected the software without the aid of a consultant. By not using a
consultant, companies must rely on research and self-evaluation to effectively
select a system. This burden is compounded by the results that indicate seventyfive percent of the companies state that a CAD/CAM system is critical to the
operation of their company. Small manufacturing companies rely heavily on this
technology to perform core functions of design and manufacturing, making
selection errors detrimental and expensive to the facilities operations.
New Purchase Investment Information
3
Number of 2
Surveyed
Users
1
$0-1000
$0-$1000
$1000$1000-
$3000$3000-
$7000$7000-
$3000
$7000
$15000
$15000+
$15000+
Price Range
Figure 3 New Purchase Investment Information
Eighty-nine percent of the users surveyed indicated they were not
interested in a new CAD/CAM system. Of the eleven percent that were, most had
51
researched available systems themselves. Using the following scale, $0 to $1000,
$1000 to $3000, $3000 to $7000, $7000 to $15,000, and $15,000+, surveyed users
were asked how much their organization might be willing to invest in the
purchase of a new system (refer to Figure 3). These companies indicated they
would be willing to spend an average of $7000 for a system.
2D&3D/CFD
Project Data Management
Structural/Static
Tool Management
Fatigue/Fractures
Stress/Thermal
Stiffness/Buckling
Deflection
Dynamic/ibration
Modal/Acoustics
Compressible/Incompressible Flows
Electromagnetic
Mean
2.95
3.18
3.38
3.73
4.00
4.10
4.10
4.14
4.24
4.52
4.52
4.52
Std Dev
1.46
1.47
1.63
1.42
1.38
1.37
1.18
1.31
1.18
0.93
0.98
0.98
Table 2 Important Add-on Utilities
Users ranked the add-on features shown in Table 2 by importance, 1 being
most important, 2 being important, 3 being fairly important, 4 being least
important, and 5 being not important. The results, shown in Table 2, indicate the
most important add-on features end users desire when selecting a system. In
general, surveyed users indicated little interest in add-on features, which may be
52
due to being unfamiliar with recent advancements in these areas. Flow analysis,
corrugated industry specific features, tool paths, and post processors were other
important add-on features suggested for evaluation.
Hours of Training
Number of
Surveyed 2
Users
1
0
0to5
5 to10
10 to 25
Hours
25 to 40
40+
Figure 4 Hours of Training
Sixty-eight percent of the users surveyed indicated they did not receive
training on the system they were using. Using the following scale, 0 to 5, 5 to 10,
10 to 25, 25 to 40, and 40+, surveyed users who did receive training were asked
how many hours of training a year they were given (refer to Figure 4). An
employee received an average of ten hours of training a year.
53
File Formats Used
16
14
12
Number of 10
Surveyed 8
Users
6
4
0
IGES
STEP
CADL
DXF
ASCII
PAR
PRT
STL
File Formats
Figure 5 File Formats Used
Sixty-four percent of the companies surveyed translate files. Seventy-eight
percent of these companies have experienced errors in file translation, while fifty
percent have experienced errors in transferring files electronically. Figure 6
indicates popular file formats currently being used by respondents. The most
common file formats used were DXF, IGES, and PRT.
Ninety-three percent of companies surveyed had Internet access, while
eighty-nine percent used electronic mail. Using the following scale, 1 to 5, 5 to
10, 10 to 20, 20 to 50, and 50+, surveyed users were asked how many employees
worked at their facility (refer to Figure 6). Surveyed companies had an average of
10 to 20 employees working at their facility, with a standard deviation of 1.47.
54
Number of Employees at Facility
12
10
Number of 8
Surveyed 6
Users
2
0
1 to 5
5 to 10
10 to 20
20 to 50
50+
Number of Employees
Figure 6 Number of Employees at Facility
Surveyed companies had an average of $1 to $5 million dollars in
approximate gross sales (refer to Table 3). Fifty-one percent were original
equipment manufacturers while forty-five percent were suppliers.
55
Gross Sales % of
0-$50K
$50-$100K
$100-$500K
$500k-$1 million
$1-$5million
$5-$20million
$20-$50 million
$50million+
Population
2
7
16
14
37
19
0
5
Table 3 Population Gross Sales
56
Chapter 5
Conclusions
There are many important factors that need to be addressed when seeking
the best CAD/CAM system solution for a manufacturing company. Although
benchmarking should be performed, a thorough analysis of a company's needs
must be completed to match requirements with available hardware and software,
which can minimize the risk associated with CAD/CAM system selection.
Today's systems can perform many different operations, maximizing the
benefits associated with CAD/CAM systems. A variety of add-on features, such
as Finite Element Analysis, part optimization, sheet metal and welding modules,
and libraries of standard parts, features, and symbols, allow users to create
accurate parts quicker and more efficiently then ever. These benefits can equate to
monetary rewards that can be capitalized on by manufacturing companies
throughout the world.
A description of several CAD/CAM systems describes current software
and features available. Recent advancements take advantage of current hardware
capabilities to provide a variety of options unavailable just a few years earlier. A
push from two-dimensional drafting to three-dimensional solid modeling has
57
resulted in accuracy and communication advancements. Through software
development, improvements to design, testing, and generation of complex parts
will continue to evolve.
The survey given to small manufacturing companies in northwestern
Wisconsin communicated current criteria trends in CAD/CAM selection. Survey
results confirmed that important selection factors include system capabilities,
efficiency, functionality, price, support, and communication. Most showed little
interest in add-on utilities for their system, possibly due to the fact that they are
unaware of current utilities available.
Many surveyed users were utilizing older systems and were not interested
in new CAD/CAM software. Seventy-five percent of surveyed users said their
CAD/CAM system was critical to their company and all respondents had selected
their current system themselves. This indicates how critical CAD/CAM selection
information can be and the impact selection can have on a company.
The most alarming response indicated sixty-eight percent of surveyed
users did not provide training on their system. This leads to the conclusion that
dedicated users are forced to train themselves, removing productive time from
other tasks.
58
Communication continues to be a major issue when selecting a
CAD/CAM system within the manufacturing community. The ability to convey
information is critical in every aspect of manufacturing. Sixty-four percent of the
surveyed companies translate files, implying the importance of communication.
The ability to read file formats between different systems is, and will continue to
be, an issue for many years to come.
Recommendations for Future Studies
•
Survey results indicated most respondents used older systems and few
were looking for new systems. Future studies may want to inquire about
satisfaction with current systems and why users were not looking to
purchase a new system.
*
Survey results indicated a poor response to add-on features by end users.
Surveyed users should be asked what add-on features came with their
system and which features have been purchased in the past to identify
important add-on features.
·
Future studies based on training and the effects of trained individuals in a
CAD/CAM environment could better indicate why training was not
important to surveyed users.
59
X
Future studies about communication between different software systems
may clarify what problems and solutions users experience when
performing file format translations.
60
Bibliography
Autodesk Inc. "Internet: WWW Web Site" Available: www.autodesk.com
(Accessed 22 April, 2000).
Amirouche, F.M.L. (1993). Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing.
NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc.
Basics of design engineering: CAD/CAM. (1997, April). Machine Design,
49-90.
CAD/CAM traps and pitfalls. (1995, September). Computer Graphics
World, 25-27.
CADKEY Corporation. "Internet: WWW Web Site" Available:
www.cadkey.com (Accessed 22 April, 2000).
CNC Software Inc. "Internet: WWW Web Site" Available:
www.mastercam.com (Accessed 22 April, 2000).
Computers in manufacturing. (1999, June). Machine Design, 1-45.
Coticchia, M.E., Crawford, G.W., Preston, E.J. (1993). CAD/CAM/CAE
Systems. NY: Marcel Dekker, Inc.
61
Dehl, L. (1998, April). Machining molds and dies. Manufacturing
Engineering, 34-40.
Donelan, J. (1999, May). CAD/CAM spending to surge in 1999.
Computer Graphics World, 11.
Groover, M. (1996). Fundamentals of Modern Manufacturing: Materials,
Processes, and Systems. NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc.
Janowski, D. (1999, June). Transferring CAD/CAM files. Modern
Machine Shop, 70-75.Wilson, D. (1997, October).
Lange, M., Mandt, J. (1998). Classified Directory of Wisconsin
Manufacturers. WI: WMC Service Corporation.
Mantyla, S. (1995). Parametric and Feature-Based CAD/CAM. NY: John
Wiley & Sons, Inc.
McGuffie, S. (2000, Spring). A little time can save the design. TimeCompression Technologies, 42-45.
Mohammed, H. (1990). Selection & Evaluation of a CAD/CAM system
for Mohammed's Manufacturing & Sons. Unpublished master's thesis, University
of Wisconsin-Stout, Menomonie.
Off the shelf plug and play CAD/CAM. Design Engineering, 29-32.
62
Parametric Technology Corporation. "Internet: WWW Web Site"
Available: www.ptc.com (Accessed 22 April, 2000).
Partnerships, acquisitions highlight hot CAD/CAM market. (1999,
Spring). Manufacturing Engineering, 22.
Pollet, J. (1999, Fall). Sharing information is easy with open systems.
Tooling and Production, 41-45.
Puttre, M. (1994, December). CAD/CAM on a budget. Mechanical
Engineering, 66-68.
SDRC Inc. "Internet: WWW Web Site" Available: www.sdrc.com
(Accessed 22 April, 2000).
Small, C. (1998, September). Forging links in the CAE, CAD, CAM chain
requires new methodologies. Computer Design's: Electronic Systems Technology
and Design, 80-85.
Solidworks Corporation. "Internet: WWW Web Site" Available:
www.solidworks.com (Accessed 22 April, 2000).
Staff (1998, Spring). Graphics benchmarks debut. Design News, 57.
Staff (1999, June) Engineering productivity kit: CAD/CAM/CAE. Design
News, 21.
63
Surfware Inc. "Internet: WWW Web Site" Available: www.surfware.com
(Accessed 22 April, 2000).
64
Appendix A
Survey Cover Letter
SURVEY
TIM MERCER
UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN - STOUT
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to create a methodology to aid small
manufacturing companies in selecting a CAD/CAM system. Your participation in
answering questions in this survey will help identify information on important
criteria for a CAD/CAM system selection. The responses will be kept confidential
and used solely for the purpose of this study. Please return the survey form in the
self addressed, stamped envelope by March 24, 2000. Thank you in advance for
completing the survey.
Consent: I understand that by returning the/this questionnaire, I am giving my
informed consent as a participating volunteer in this study. I understand the basic
nature of the study and agree that any potential risks are exceedingly small. I also
understand the potential benefits that might be realized from the successful
completion of this study. I am aware that the information is being sought in a
specific manner so that no identifiers are needed and so that confidentiality is
guaranteed. I realize that I have the right to refuse to participate and that my right
to withdraw from participation at any time during the study will be respected with
no coercion or prejudice.
Note: Questions or concerns about participation in the research study or
subsequent complaints should be addressed first to:
Tim Mercer
701 N. Broadway #5
Menomonie, WI 54751
Phone (715) 235-4817
[email protected]
65
and second to:
Dr. Ted Knous, Chair,
UW Stout Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects in
Research
11HH, UW Stout
Menomonie, WI 54751
Phone (715) 232-1126
66
CAD/CAM Survey
I.Does your organization currently use a CAD and/or CAM system? If no, skip to
question 20.
Yes
No
2. Which CAD system/s is your organization currently using?
None ( if none skip to question 4 )
Applicon Bravo
_Design Pacifica
MCS
Ashlar Vellum
EDS Unigraphics
MICROCADAM
AutoDesk
EMT Software
MSC
Bentley
IBM Catia
PTC Pro-Engineer
CADKEY
ICEM Technologies
SDRC Idea
CoCreate
IMSI TurboCAD
Solid Edge
Computervision CADDS 5
Matra Datavision
Solid Works
VDS IronCAD
Other
3. How many years has your organization been using the CAD system/s?
0-1
1-3
3-5
5-10
10+
4. Which CAM system/s is your organization currently using?
None ( if none skip to question 6 )
CAMCORE Solid
Maple-3AX
PEPS Solid Cut
Mastercam
Esprit 99
FeatureCAM
GibbsCAM '99
FF/CAM
VisualMill
TopCam
EdgeCAM
Factory Mill
SurfCAM
CAMWorks
Visi-CAM
A CAM package associated with your CAD package
67
Other
5. How many years has your organization been using the CAM system/s?
0-1
1-3
3-5
5-10
10+
6. By importance, 1-5 and one being most important, which criteria did you or your
organization use to select the system/s?
Most
Important
1
Price
Expandability
Communications
Fairly
Least
Not
Important Important Important Important
if
3
5
Efficiency
Capabilities
Import/Export
Functionality
Analysis
Operating system
Support
Viewing
.
N
Lr,:
Kernel
Other
l
Other
7. Did you or your organization hire a consultant to help aid in system selection?
Yes
No
8. Is the CAD/CAM system critical to the operation of the company?
Yes
No
68
9. Are you or your organization interested in a new CAD/CAM system? If no, skip to
question 12?
Yes
No
10. Have you or someone from your organization researched CAD/CAM systems?
Yes
No
11. How much are you or your organization willing to invest in the purchase of a new
system?
$0-$1000
$1000-$3000
$3000-$7000
_$7000-$15000
$15000+
12. By importance, 1-5 and one being most important, which add on features are the most
important to you?
Not
Least
Fairly
Most
Important Important Important Important Important
1 5
3
If=:4 4
1
Stress/Thermal
Structural/Static
DynamicNibration
Fatigue/Fractures
_
_
M
_
_
;:
=
2D&3D/CFD
Stiffness/Buckling
>W
Modal/Acoustics
=:w
O
O
Deflection
Compressible/Incompressible Flows
Electromagnetic
Project Data Management
Tool Management
Other
:
e.
_
:
Other
69
13. Does your company provide training on the system you are using, if no skip to
question 16?
No
Yes
14. How many hours of training does an employee of the company receive a year?
0-5
5-10
10-25
25-40
40+
15. Is your training conducted through your own company employees?
Yes
No
16. Does your company translate CAD/CAM files, if no skip to question 19?
Yes
No
17. What file formats do you or others use to translate files?
Proprietary
PAR
IGES
PRT
STEP
SAT
CADL
SUP
DFX
STL
ASCII
X_T
NCAL
MODEL
Other
70
18. Have you experienced errors in translating files?
Yes
No
19. Have you experienced errors in transferring files electronically?
Yes
No
20. Do you have Internet access?
Yes
No
21. Do you have Electronic Mail?
Yes
No
22. How many employees are currently working at your facility?
1-5
5-10
10-20
20-50
50+
23. What are your company's approximate gross sales?
0-$50K
$50-$100K
$100-$500K
$500k-$1 million
$1-$5million
$5-$20million
$20-$50 million
$50million+
24. Are you a supplier or Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)?
OEM
Supplier
25. How many years have you worked for this company?
0-1
1-5
5-10
10-20
20+
26. What is the highest post secondary education level you have received?
None
Associate
Bachelor
Master
27. What is the position you currently hold in this organization?
71
Doctorate
Was this manual useful for you? yes no
Thank you for your participation!

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