computer-aided manufacturing

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computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) A set of techniques which integrate various subtechniques that can be used in computer control or process control for various forms of manufacturing. Computer-aided manufacturing implies the integration of all aspects of manufacturing systems within the factory, i.e. the use of computer techniques not only for process control but also for aspects such as automatic ordering of materials, predicting material usage, factory scheduling, inventory control, predicting machine changeover, and projecting manpower requirements. Computer-aided manufacturing is particularly important as it follows naturally from computer-aided design. See also computer-integrated manufacturing, numerical control, computer-aided testing.