The acronym CAD/CAM is familiar to people using Computer Aids for Design and Manufacturing. This paper will present CAPE, Computer Aided Process Engineering, a system that has its impact between Design and Manufacturing. Group Technology is a related activity which is useful in the development of a CAPE system.
Group Technology is a manufacturing concept of grouping items, in order to take advantage of their similarity. While neither the CAPE concept nor the Group Technology concept is new, an increasing need for expanding the application of the computer in the Manufacturing Engineering function has made these topics more frequent items of discussion and action. This paper will make an assessment of the need and applicability of the computer in manufacturing engineering, where this application stands now, and an insight into the development of needed software by an organization known as CAM-I
Computer Aided Process Engineering is a necessary part of the successful implementation of CAD/CAM systems. Very often it is an outgrowth of the implementation of a CAD system. When it is missing, the recognition that it is missing may help to explain why some CAD/CAM systems have not performed up to expectations. CAPE is a logical and necessary link between them. The output of a CAD system is the engineering design. The input to a CAM system is a plan to be executed by manufacturing. CAPE will take the design and turn it into a plan.