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Computer-aided engineering
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Computer-aided engineering

Computer-aided Engineering (often referred to as CAE) is a broad term describing the use of computer technology to aid in the design, manufacture, handling, or transport of goods. It is most widely used in the control of robotic machines which perform manufacturing tasks too large, too small, too exacting, or too tiresome for human beings. This can range from the assembly of automobiles to the etching of microchips. The precision of computer control is invaluable to almost every form of manufacturing. Advanced CAE tools merge many different aspects of the product lifecycle management (PLM), including design, production planning, product testing using FEA (Finite Element Analysis), visualization and product documentation etc.

CAE encompasses a broad range of tools, both those commercially available and those which are proprietary to the engineering firm.

Unfortunately CAE tools can be very expensive and time-consuming to create; the requirements of due diligence and corporate liability, combined with the rapid change of technology, processes, and materials means that the tools often lag behind, and become outdated almost before they can be used. Companies often continue to use old technology for many years before they are willing to invest in yet another expensive upgrade.

Nevertheless such design tools as AutoCAD, Microstation, Catia, and others have been successfully used for over twenty-five years. They are most often used by consulting engineers, large corporations maintaining Engineering staffs, automotive corporations, petrochemical companies, governmental agencies, and geological and mapping industries.

See also: