Computer-Aided Process Planning

What Does Computer-Aided Process Planning Mean?

Computer-aided process planning (CAPP) involves using computer technology for designing physical products. It goes along with things like computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), but computer-aided process planning focuses on industrial processes.


Techopedia Explains Computer-Aided Process Planning

In computer-aided process planning, experts look at the specific steps of a process of manufacturing. The engineers use general design information to construct process steps and try to build protocols. Generated processes may involve a specified sequence of operations, particular uses of tools, and how to route products from one workstation to another. These detailed and step-by-step instructions form the basis for actual production.

Experts also distinguish between particular types and stages of CAPP; for instance, the term “variant CAPP” describes broader steps of the process to create more versatile planning, while “generative CAPP” describes subsequent steps to create protocols and plans that are more rigid and determine processes in a more detailed way.

Often-cited benefits of CAPP include general efficiency in manufacturing, better use of raw materials, improved production scheduling, fewer calculation errors and labor saving.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…