CAD/CAM programmers are a pretty thrifty breed. When there is a job that needs to get done, they’ll get it done one way or another. Everyday challenges on the plant floor are conquered one battle at a time, but sometimes there are larger forces at play. Someday, a CAD/CAM programmer in training will ask their mentor, “How do you pick the right tools for this job?” As the mentor answers this seemingly simple question, you can picture the trainee’s eyes glazing over and a slight look of terror overcome their face.
“The index cards are over here…the tool info is in this binder…these are the numbers you call…I’ve found these websites helpful.”
Islands of Data
The problem is that even though everyday challenges were met, the process of tool selection was never much of a process at all. CAD/CAM programmers needed experience, grit, persistence, intuition and thrift. Then eventually, they’d develop a method that worked for them and probably no one else. Consolidating all of the information and creating a replicable process is low on the priority list.