Computer Aided Design Package Essay Sample

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A company called Engineering Us have employed me to find out the cost, benefits and the drawbacks of upgrading from their current method of hand made technical drawing to using an up-to-date Computer Aided Design (CAD) package. This company designs and constructs office furniture to order; because of this work only begins on an item once the exact details of the item have been calculated and have the clients’ approval.

The current method which is used to gather the information that the designers need to make the drawings for the office is to send over a person to measure the location where the item or items of furniture will be located and how they will get the item into the building. After this has happened and the measurements have been given to the designers the designers will draw the blueprints by pen and paper. After they have drawn the design they will send the blueprint via one of the company’s employee’s to the client for him/her to look at and decide if it is what they wanted. If the client decided they liked the design the blueprint would be sent down to the workshop where they would start construction of the design. If the client didn’t like the blueprint that the designers had made Engineering Us would find out from the client what was incorrect with the blueprints, then the designers would redesign the blueprints with the client’s inputs in mind. After this it is shown to the client again to see if it is to their liking.

The reason the company is upgrading to a CAD based system from their hand drawn method is that up until now they have only had to make items on a smaller scale with a lot of time allowed for each project. Currently they allow the designer to make the drawings on the A0 paper taking their time which would take a few months, then have it sent to the manufacturing department to be constructed. Now they have managed to negotiate a contract with another company who will require Engineering Us to make the items faster, this means that they will need the technical drawings drawn faster so they can construct the items sooner. To allow this to happen they have decided to change from their current system to a computer based system using a CAD package appropriate to their needs.

Engineering Us is a small company; they have one office and a workshop which are situated in separate places. The office block is where the items are designed and the workshop is where they are constructed using the designs from the office block. To transport the drawings from the office block to the workshop they walk over from the office block to the workshop with them, the reason they do this rather than any other method is that the two locations are very close together.

Engineering Us has ten people working in the workshop where they are constructing the designs that are made and they have two designers drawing the blueprints in the office. There are also seven people who take blueprints out to clients to make sure that they like the drawing before Engineering Us constructs the design. These five people also take orders and measurements of the areas where the clients want the items to be placed and deliver the items to the client using a company van. The company has three supervisors, one is in charge of the technical drawing department, one is in charge of the workshop and one is in charge of the five people who communicate directly with the clients. One manager is in charge of all three of the supervisors and then the director of Engineering Us is above him. In total this brings the number of employees working for Engineering Us to twenty and two of these twenty employees will be using the system I am to justify.

The company has recently won a new contract from a client and now has to construct a lot more furniture over a shorter period of time. For the company to meet these demands they have decided to upgrade their workshop to use a CAM machine that will speed up construction. The CAM machine has already been chosen by the company and the training plus everything else that is required for the CAM machine to operate. Engineering Us only require me to analysis the designing part of the company and make this more efficient to keep up with the new contract they have acquired. Engineering Us wants me to come up with a system that will run a CAD package that I justify for the company to use. This system will have to output a file format compatible with the CAM machine so that they integrate with each other easily.

The contract will provide the company with 60,000 at the end of the year once all of the items have been constructed and delivered to the client. This will be paid in instalments at the end of each month of 5,000. This contract will also be renewed with the client providing that Engineering Us can adequately provide the items they required within the allotted time frame.

The system that I have been asked to come up with will have two users; these two users are currently working with Engineering Us and they will need to be trained in using the new system as they have not had any training or experience with any CAD application. They also need to have the capability to back up their drawings daily so that if something did happen to their hard drive they wouldn’t have lost everything. They also want all three computers linked up to their own network separate to any others that the company already have. It also needs to be connected to the internet so they can download updates for their CAD package as updates become available over the internet.

The company has given me a budget of 15,000 to come up with a costing to make or to buy two PCs capable of running a CAD package that I justify and anything else that is needed to run this application. With this budget I will also need to buy an A0 plotter, two graphics tablets, networking equipment and training for the employees on using the CAD package.

P2

The company currently has two computers in their office block; these computers are very old and are only used for word processing for administration tasks. The current specification of their computers is shown in the table below:

Component

Specification

Processor

Intel Pentium 166 MHz

(Random Access Memory) RAM

30MB

Optical drive

CD-ROM x8 speed

Hard drive

9GB

Modem

56K

The computers they currently have can’t be upgraded to use any of the new CAD packages because everything in the current computers would all need to be replaced to make it compatible with any new CAD packages. This would effectively mean making a new computer rather than upgrading it, so just constructing a new computer would be a more cost effective way of proceeding. For that reason it would be better to keep these computers for administration purposes they are currently being used for, this would allow the company to still use them and not have to throw them away as they do their current task perfectly.

DeltaCAD, MiniCAD, TurboCAD and AutoCAD are four different CAD packages that I have found that could do the job required by Engineering Us. The reason I have chosen these four is because the CAM machine in the workshop will only accept .DWG files for reading and if the CAD package didn’t output .DWG files it would not be able to integrate with the CAM machine. These files must be contained on a floppy disk as the CAM machine has only a floppy drive input and then it will read the data from it and construct to the specified design.

I have chosen to further investigate three separate CAD packages out of the ones listed above; these three are DeltaCAD, TurboCAD and AutoCAD. The reason I have decided to investigate these further is that DeltaCAD is the cheapest, TurboCAD is the mid range and AutoCAD is the most expensive out of the packages. Using these three will give me a wide band of different costs for the different CAD applications which will allow me to come up with cheap systems, mid ranged and expensive an system for the company. This will help me not only stick to the budget I have been allocated but may also save the company money depending on the over all costs of the CAD package that is used.

After finding out more on DeltaCAD, TurboCAD and AutoCAD I have found out that the latest versions of these three CAD packages are DeltaCAD 5.0, TurboCAD 10 and AutoCAD 2005. DeltaCAD is made by a company called Midnight Software, TurboCAD is made by a company called IMSI and AutoCAD is made by a company called Autodesk, both IMSI and AutoCAD sell other products that are like CAD, but they will not be suitable for the tasks that Engineering Us require of it.

Upon further investigation I have discovered one problem with TurboCAD that DeltaCAD and AutoCAD don’t have is that the CAM machine might not read the files it outputs perfectly. TurboCAD 10 outputs a different type of file but they state that this type of file is perfectly compatible with any CAM machine that reads .DWG files. Although they say this I think that from past experiences there could be problems from time to time with this type of file on Engineering Us’s CAM machine, when these problems arise it will slow the construction process down.

P3/M2

I will have to either buy a new PC from a store or make the computers myself; whichever approach is adopted the hardware that will have to be in the machine will be the same and is listed below:

* Motherboard which will support all other hardware required for the computer

* Video card to output a display on the monitor for the user to see what they are doing

* CD-ROM drive to install the software applications which will be needed for the task the company requires of it

* Floppy Drive to move the .DWG files to the CAM machine in the workshop to construct the items, this can also be very useful for fixing a broken computer or to help analyse its fault

* Case for all of the components that will make up the computer to go into

* RAM for the computer to open up applications and to keep data that is being used at the present times

* Hard drive to install the software applications on and store the CAD files created

* Keyboard for the users to enter in alphanumeric data and other characters

* Mouse or other pointing device for the user to move the curser on the screen

* Processor to be able to process all of the data that needs to be processed

* Processor heat sink to take heat off of the processor and disperse it into the air

* Fans to keep the components inside the computer cool enough to work correctly, e.g. processor fan, case fans and video card fan

* DVD/CD reader rewriter drive to back up the drawings that they produce during the day

* Monitor for the user to view what they are doing while using the computer

Other hardware that will be needed that is not part of the computer and is not needed to get the computer working, but will be required by the company to enable it to do all the work required is the A0 plotter and graphics tablets.

An A0 sized plotter will be used to print off the CAD drawings on A0 paper and used to show the blueprints to the clients, they then decide if they like it or not from these blueprints. The reason that they will need to be printed out on A0 size paper is because due to the size of the items they are designing and the amount of information that needs to be shown to the clients it can only be easily displayed on an A0 sized piece of paper. One advantage of the system for the plotters is that there would only need to be one cheap plotter that prints off the drawings in low quality. The reason that they can print them off in low quality is that they are only going to the client for them to view, they are not going to be used as the blueprints for the construction in which case they would have to be very good as to ensure there are no mistakes during its construction.

Graphics tablets will be used for the CAD user to draw out their CAD designs a bit like they would have done when they designed on paper. A graphics tables lets the user use a tablet pen (much like a normal pen but with a laser) and a graphics tablet that is a large sized ‘sheet’ for them to draw on. Using the graphics tablets allows them to be more accurate and makes the drawing easier for them because as they draw with it the drawings come up on the screen; allowing it to be used like a pen and paper as they are used to doing. This is a lot easier then using a mouse or other pointer device for the user because they have more control over their drawings with the graphics tablet, which means they will make less mistakes, saving time on their drawings and making the designing process quicker.

There are a few different ways that the computers could be networked, they known as topologies and the different topologies are called bus, star and ring. The bus topology is the slowest way of connecting the computers together but is also the cheapest. On this small network I don’t think the speed of this will be much of a problem as there will only be a plotter and two computers connected to it. The star network is fastest and probably the most fault tolerant network listed, but it is also the most expensive type of network. For the small network that we are having connected doesn’t really need this speed because its only two computers and the speed wouldn’t make much of a difference. The ring method has a good fault tolerance but for a system as small as the one that we are connecting together this wouldn’t be too different to a bus network.

If the company buys the computers or build them up they are going to need to have an operating system to integrate the hardware and software together. The operating system will communicate directly with the BIOS of the motherboard to find out what components are plugged into the computer and what types they are. The operating system is also very important because it communicates between the software applications, like word processing packages and CAD packages etc and the hardware, like the graphics card and sound cards etc.

The CAD application that the company wants is a package which will allow the user to create technical drawings that will give the dimensions and the shapes of the design relatively fast and for it to be done to a high quality standard. The main reason for using a CAD package over hand drawings is time; CAD makes technical drawings much faster for the user. They could draw more technical drawings in the time that it would take them to draw one by hand, this speeds up their work so that they can send the drawings to the workshop and have them constructed, this will increase their efficiency dramatically. This application will also need to output .DWG formatted files as this is the file format which is used by the CAM machine to read and construct from.

The company will also require an internet browser to view websites on, the main reason for being able to view websites is that when an update is released for any of the software running on the computer they can then go to that company’s website and find the file then download and install it. The web browser may also be used for more than just viewing websites, some of the applications may require one to view the help filers as they could be in a web based file format.

The company may also require a word processing package to view the help files that come with the CAD application and other software applications which will be installed on the computer. The reason for this is that they may not come in a web based formatted document, they could come in a text formatted document which can only be opened by a word processor.

Another application which the company will require is a firewall, the reason for this is that their computers will have internet access and a firewall will help stop any unauthorized people gaining access to the computer system. If some one did gain access to the system the damage they do could be a lot, for example if they deleted all files on the computer before a backup had been made it would mean a whole day’s work would have been wasted. Even with all the files deleted the company would have to pay to have the computer system fixed with every thing reinstalled, with a firewall however the chances of this happening are greatly reduced.

P4

For the hardware solutions I have decided not to build the computers my self but to buy them from a company called Dell. The reason for this is that they sell cheap computers which will perform the tasks which my client requires of them. They also have a one year warranty where they will send a Dell engineer out to fix the computer should any thing go wrong with it. As all dell computers come preinstalled with Windows XP on it, I am going to be using Windows XP Professional as my operating system as this version of Windows XP has all of the advanced features that will be required for this system.

The cheapest software solution that I could find was to use DeltaCAD due to the cheapness of the application its self and the low hardware requirements and it does not require any other applications on the computer to run. The specifications of DeltaCAD v5.0 are shown below:

Component

Minimal

Recommended

Processor

Pentium II/equivalent

Pentium II/equivalent

RAM

64MB

64MB

Hard drive

100MB

100MB

style="text-align: justify;">Video card 16-bit colour, 800 x 600

resolution

24-bit true colour, 1024 x 768 resolution

Optical drive

CD-ROM

CD-ROM

Pointing device

Mouse

Mouse

Operating system

Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000 and XP

Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000 and XP

The cost of this application is 19.70 which is very cheap when compared to the other CAD applications which I have listed, also this application only requires a Windows operating system to run, it does not require a web browser, word processor or any other application to work correctly. This means that the total software cost of this software solution excluding the operating system as this will be included with the computer we buy will be 19.70 for the one licence, but the company will be requiring two licences making the cost 39.40.

The mid ranged software solution that I think would be suitable to the task the company requires is to use TurboCAD, this keeps the software costs down while still trying to keep the drawing time down on this as well. The problem with TurboCAD is that it doesn’t output files in a .DWG format, although they claim that the file format outputted is perfectly compatible with any CAM machine which uses .DWG files formats. The specifications of what is required to run this application are shown in the table below:

Component

Specification

Processor

Pentium II/equivalent

RAM

128MB

Hard drive

220MB

Video card

16 bit high colour, Super VGA 1024 x 768 resolution

Optical drive

CD-ROM x4 speed

Pointing device

Mouse

Operating system

Windows 98, NT4, 2000 and XP

Help file viewer

Any text editor capable of opening .RTF files

This application only requires a Windows operating system to run on and a word processing package of any kind which will read .RTF files. The price for TurboCAD its self is 369.67 for the one licence, for two licences which the company will require as they will have two computers costs 1109.01. I have not included the word process or the operating system costs in this because the operating system will be covered with the computer we buy and all Windows operating systems TurboCAD 10 is compatible with come with a free word processing application.

The most expensive system I am recommending to the company to perform their tasks is AutoCAD 2005, this is the most recent version of AutoCAD from Autodesk. Even though this is the most expensive software solution it does everything that the company requires extremely well, it makes drawing the blueprints a lot faster as all of the features, layout and just the way it has been made make the whole process faster. The specifications to run this application are shown in the table below:

Component

Specification

Processor

Pentium III 800 MHz/equivalent

RAM

256MB

Hard drive

300MB

Video card

True colour, 1024 x 768 resolution

Optical drive

CD-ROM

Pointing device

Mouse

Operating system

Windows 2000 and XP

Help file viewer

Internet browser

To view the help files in AutoCAD 2005 you require an Internet browser, but Windows already comes with one called Internet Explorer so there will be no need to cost for another browser. The price for a single licence of AutoCAD 2005 is 2,058 and for two licences of the product it will cost 4,116.

For the low, medium and high solutions I will be using Microsoft Windows XP Professional as the operating system, the reason for this is that it is the latest operating system produced by Microsoft, is very stable and has advanced networking facilities built into it. The prices for this operating system will not be stated separately as the computers that I will be buying from dell have it already installed. Windows XP also already has a firewall built into it so there will be no need to buy a separate firewall application, it also has an internet browser and a word processor which can be used to viewing the help files with it so there is no need to purchase these separately. The required specifications for Windows XP Professional are shown below:

Component

Specification

Processor

Pentium 300 MHz/equivalent

RAM

128MB

Hard drive

1.5GB

Video card

Super VGA, 800 x 600 resolution

Optical drive

CD-ROM

Pointing device

Mouse

Keyboard

Keyboard

The table below shows three different bands of software solution prices, one is for the cheapest system, the next is for a mid ranged system and the last is for the most expensive system.

Low ranged band

Mid ranged band

High ranged band

CAD application

DeltaCAD

TurboCAD

AutoCAD

Price

39.40

1109.01

2058

In the table above you can see the prices between the low ranged band and the high ranged band change dramatically. The change in prices is due to the quality of the product, such as all the extra features it has which cut down a lot on drawing times and its method of working which is more efficient; saving time.

I will be using a cheap plotter for all of the different bands of costing which will cost 1,972.82; a downfall with this is that you can put less paper into the paper tray so the excess will have to be stored else where; which isn’t a big problem. The main two problems are that, it will be a lot slower than a mid range or an expensive one and does not have as good a resolution so the drawings will not be as crisp and clear. The resolution shouldn’t be much of a problem because the print outs are only going to be used to show the client what the final product will look like but the speed could make a difference, although this should not be a huge difference and only take a minor effect on productivity.

An A5 sized graphic tablet will cost 45.82 for the cheapest one which is an A5 tablet which is one of the cheapest tablets available. It won’t be as easy for the user to use this as it would be to use an A3 sized one it will still do the job, although it may take longer because they may find it harder to use. I will be using a A4 sized graphics tablet for the mid range system as this is the next size up costing 206.32 and the one I will be using for the top range system will be an A3 sized tablet costing 552.02.

As I have stated before I will be purchasing the hardware for the computers as whole pre-built computers from Dell, below is the specifications and prices of a low priced system, a mid ranged system and an expensive system. The table also includes the other hardware elements which are required for the tasks such as the A0 plotter and the graphics tablet and also includes the operating system.

Component

Low range

Mid range

Top range

Processor

Pentium 4 2.2 GHz

Pentium 4 2.8 GHz

Pentium 4 3.0 GHz

RAM

256MB

512MB

1024MB

Hard drive

40GB

80GB

120GB

Optical drive

CD/DVD rewriter

CD/DVD rewriter

CD/DVD rewriter

Other drive

3 1/2″ floppy disc drive

3 1/2″ floppy disc drive

3 1/2″ floppy disc drive

Operating system

Windows XP Professional

Windows XP Professional

Windows XP Professional

Keyboard

Included

Included

Included

Mouse

Included

Included

Included

A0 Plotter

A0 plotter

A0 plotter

A0 plotter

Graphics table

A5 size

A4 size

A4 size

Price

4913.28

5827.76

7053.94

The table below shows the costing for implementing the network they require for both computers to be linked together, to be able to log onto the internet and use the same printer. I have checked what connection the plotter uses and it is a printer port connection and that the routers built in print server has the correct type of connection for this. I also have made sure that the internet connect that they will be using to connect through will be connecting to this router through a Cat-5E cable which is exactly what this router uses for shared internet connections. This one network setup will be used for all the different bands of cost.

Component

Price

Cat-5E cable

3.32

NIC 10MB/100MB

29.01

Router

18.27

Total

50.60

The table below shows the total costs for the low ranged costs, mid ranged costs and the high ranged costs, all of these include the computers costs, plotters costs, graphics tablet cost, networking costs and the CAD software which it will be running.

Low band

Mid band

High band

Price

5003.28

6987.37

9162.54

P5

There are a lot of items that the company will need to buy while running one of the potential systems that is not going to be a one off charge from the start, these are listed below:

* A0 plotter cartridges for the plotter, if the company is printing out a lot of blueprints to show customers the ink will go down fast in the plotters and will need to be replaced. This will cost of 6.99 for every cartridge they buy, I estimate that the company will go through about five per month making a total cost of 34.95.

* Paper will be expensive for the company because a pack of 40 A0 sheets will cost the company about 42.67. They could either keep buying them as they need to or buy them in bulk, lots of places will give a discount if they buy in bulk, but the problem with this would be storage space. I estimate from the previous number of drawings they did and comparing it to the amount they will have to do they will need to use ten packs of paper per month. This will bring the monthly expenditure on paper to 426.70.

* Maintenance of the computers will vary, the computers will work perfectly fine most of the time but some times one of the components might go faulty and need replacing or repairing.

* CD RWs will need to be brought for the employees to backup the CAD files they do. This won’t cost much as each CD RW can hold up to 700MB of data and CAD drawings are usually small, it will take a long time to fill up one CD RW. The cost of these depends on what company they are made by, but for a pack of 5 CD RWs it will cost about 10.

* The company will need new desks for the computers as the desks they currently have are drawing boards and are not suitable for a computer, plotter or graphics tablet. This should not cost much, only the materials will need to be paid for because the company is an office furniture design and construction company so they should be able to make these them self.

* They may need to get some new chairs as well because the old ones they had may not be ergonomically correct to be used with the new computers and desks which could make problems for the employees, such as back pains.

The cost of the training will need to cover the training for the two employees being trained in the use of the CAD system. They are both familiar with the Windows XP operating system as they both use it on their computers at home so they will not need training on this. They will only be using very basic features on the operating system so what they will already know will these aspects, but to be sure I have asked the two employees if the know about the basic aspects such as opening up the application and they both do.

The training will be done at a local graphics and Art College situated six miles from the company office which specialise in graphical application training and they run courses on DeltaCAD, TurboCAD and AutoCAD. All of these courses are day time courses and span two weeks, to keep the company running while the training is underway the method that will be used for these is to have only one of the designers training on any one day and have them training every other day. For example employee one could be training on Mondays, employee two on Tuesdays, employee one again on Wednesdays and employee two againg on Thursdays etc, this will only be conducted on weekdays Monday to Friday. With this type of time shift the training should be completed in a month, this will allow enough time before the company has to start processing orders from their new contract. The over all costs of both of the employees training is shown in the table below:

DeltaCAD

TurboCAD

AutoCAD

Price

309.98

428.30

610.84

P6

The main advantage of using DeltaCAD is that it is the cheapest solution for the tasks the client requires to be performed. The reason for this is that the application software its self is very cheap and also its other requirements such as the hardware components needed and other software which will be required to run it are minimal and cheap. A downfall of this package though is that it is not as easy to use or as attractive to the eye. These can have a lot of impact on the application as if it is harder to use the training costs could be higher and it may take a longer time for the designers to produce technical drawings due to its complexity.

One of the benefits of a system that uses TurboCAD is that it is not the cheapest or the most expensive system that could be used but a mid ranged system which has some of the more advanced aspects of the expensive solution while still staying reasonably cheap. A downfall of TurboCAD 10 is that the files that it outputs are not .DWG files but another file format which they claim to be compatible with all CAM machines which take .DWG files. Although this file has a high chance of being compatible with our CAM machine it may not be though so I wouldn’t recommend using TurboCAD due to this drawback if possible.

One of AutoCAD’s benefits is that it has lot more tools to be used than what the others have. Although this may not seem like much, this will make it easier and faster for the designers to create the blueprints for clients to look at which can then be sent to the CAM machine sooner. This increase in speed will mean that the workshop can output more items faster because they will be drawn faster, this will ensure that the company keeps to its deadlines which must be met if the company is to keep the contract. The main draw back with an AutoCAD system is that it is considerably more expansive than the other two systems. This could be very important if the company needs to have a system work on a cheaper budget. With the budget I have been given I think that the AutoCAD route would still prove to be better due to the long term gains.

There will be less waste with the new system than there was with the old system. In the old system the designers would draw out the drawing, then it would be copied and the copy would be sent to the customer to see if they liked it then it would be constructed, if they didn’t like it they would redesign it, using more paper. With the new system the user will design the item and then either print it out on the A0 plotter and give it to the client or give it to them in an electronic format. If they print it off they will only need to have the one copy printed rather than making a copy of the original paper one as the original will be saved electronically and can be put into a CAD machine electronically if needed, so there need only be one print out provided the customer likes the first design.

The quality of life for the users will be about the same, with the old system they were drawing on paper, but now they will be drawing on graphic tablets. Two things that will be different are that it will be more noise of the computers, but there will not be all that much noise. The other point is that people may damage their eyes from the computer screens, but if they take a break every hour and comply with the health and safety laws they should not suffer any negative effects from their work.

The system that I recommend is the most expensive system using AutoCAD 2005, this is because AutoCAD will provide us with support if we purchase it, and the computer will run it perfectly smoothly which will make it faster and easier than the other methods. This will help speed up the productivity in the office for the designers to output more blueprints faster.

M3/D3

The budget I was given to design this system that will let the company use a CAD package on a computer that will run it smoothly, with all the accessories that the company required was 15,000. The company got the money for the 15,000 from two sources, one was from capital put in from the company owner and the other was from previous profits that the had been putting aside for a project like this as they thought that they would win the contract.

When the company owner put his own money from his/her bank account or from any other source where they store their money straight into the company to help support and maintain it. The owner won’t get this money back from the company so it will be gone forever from the owner, but will help the company carry on running smoothly. The capital money put in from the company owner was 5,000. The profit that was put aside for this project was 10,000, the reason that this money was kept aside for this was because they thought they would come out on top of their competitors for this contract. They began to set aside money when the client first began to search for a company that will do this job for them. This makes a total of 15,000.

Paper for the plotter will probably cost the company about 426.70 a month, ink will cost the company about 34.95 per month and other consumables like CDs and floppy discs will cost 100. This brings the total consumables will cost 177.65 per month; this means that by the end of each month this cost must be covered. By the end of the year the new system will need to cover the cost of the new CAM machine which is 10,000 and the money that is originally put in for the designing area which is 9,773.38 including the training costs. The reason the total is 9,773.38 rather than 15,000 which was my set budget is that 9,773.38 is all that I spent for the new system.

This brings the total that the company must pay back by the end of the year excluding the consumables to 19,773.84. The contract pays us 60,000 for the year which brakes down into 5,000 per month. Taking away the monthly cost of running the system from what we get paid per month will leave us with 4822.35 per month. In the fifth month we will have finished paying off the cost of the CAM machine, the money put in at first and the training costs, also in this month they will make 4,338.37 profit. The total profit that the company will make at the end of the year with this new system will be 39,338.37 before any TAX and VAT is deducted.

M4

With the new CAD system that the company will be purchasing for their company they will be able to do more work faster on the computers. This means even with the same amount of workers they can produce even more work without having to pay an extra persons wages. The designers who do the designing have all got degrees and will have an A level in using AutoCAD 2005 from the course we are sending them on. To not use the computer system and instead to employee another employee will cost about 30,000 in wages. At first the company will be paying about 20,000 to set up the new system and to employee a new employee instead of a new system will cost 30,000 as stated above, this makes it more cost effective to use a new computer system instead. The cost of implementing the new system will be a one off fee with an extra cost occasionally to repair broken equipment, rather than having to pay another employee 30,000 a year.

Another benefit of the new system that they are buying is that they can produce designs out at a higher rate than they need to. This means they also have extra capacity to take on other smaller jobs to earn extra money, as these will only be small jobs I think that per job that we take they will earn about 25,000 per extra contract. With a job of this size I think they will be able to take on two more small jobs or one larger job. As they already have the equipment and the staff that they need for the job they don’t have to employee any new workers or buy any new equipment. This means that nearly all of the money they get from other contracts will be profit, depending on the wages of the employees.

The company will be using a new computerized system and will keep all of their designs in electronic form so if they only need to make small adjustments to a previous design you can just load up the design and make the changes. This is better because when they used a manual system to make a small adjustment to a previous design would mean either rubbing pats of the old one out, which gets rid of that design or drawing a totally new one. This took a lot more time and now they can just open the old file up, resave it as some thing different and make changes to the design.

D2

The three CAD packages that I have decided would be the best for the company are DeltaCAD v5.0, TurboCAD v10 and AutoCAD 2005; these are all the latest versions of each companies application. The reason I chose these three is because all these companies are well known and have been around for quite some time, so their programs should be more reliable and better quality than a new company just starting off. I think that AutoCAD 2005 would be the better choice over the other two for Engineering Us because of the reasons listed below:

* AutoCAD 2005 has more tools that are of great use to the user of the program and these tools make designing CAD drawings faster and easier

* AutoCAD 2005 is made by a company called Auto Desk, when you buy the product from them you get a one year warranty with the product. Should anything go wrong with the program or you need help to set parts of it up during the year they will send out one of their engineers to fix it

* An Autodesk engineer will come out and install the package with the warranty and make sure that everything is working perfectly before they leave, even the connection from AutoCAD to the printer

* This warranty can be extended after it runs out for another year; although it will cost more for this you will have the peace of mind that should anything go wrong that Autodesk will send an engineer out to fix the problem

The reason why this warranty is so useful for Engineering Us is because even though I am an Information Communication Technology (ICT) technician even I don’t know everything about every application to do with computers. I don’t know how to install AutoCAD 2005 and have not installed it myself. This is why it would be better for Autodesk to send an engineer out to install it and to make sure that it is all working correctly, if they cannot get it to work correctly then they will have to either fix it or give the company a full refund.

I had chosen to use Microsoft Windows XP Professional as the operating system for this task because AutoCAD 2005 will only run on Windows 2000 or Windows XP (any edition). I choose Windows XP over Windows 2000 as XP has all of the features of 2000 with a lot more added and all of the old ones improved upon also Windows XP is more stable and reliable than Windows 2000. The reason I have chosen the Professional edition over all the other is because none of the others will perform the functions which are required by the company. The tablet edition and media centre edition are not suitable for desktops, this leaves Home edition and Professional edition which are suitable for desktop computers. I choose Professional over Home because it has more features which will be utilized in the environment that they will be in, such as the more advanced networking features.

Windows XP also comes with an internet browser called Internet Explorer which the company can use to view websites on the internet to find updates for products they have installed and install them. It can also be used to view the help files in AutoCAD because they are formatted in a web based language which can only be read by an internet browser. Windows XP also includes a firewall which will help keep intruders out of the computer system stopping them from cause any harm to the computers. Both of these are include in the price and so not have to be purchased as extras.

The reason I have chosen to use the top ranged hardware equipment out of the three different bands I had chosen is that the better hardware will allow AutoCAD to run faster, this means that the designers will be able to get their designs made faster. This will also help prevent crashes due to the hardware running out of resources which would mean that any unsaved work up to the point where the computer crashed would be lost. This could dramatically reduce the productivity if it accrued a couple of times a day. Also the budget I had been set allowed me to purchase all of this and still have money left over even when the software and training had been accounted for. The specification of the hardware that I will be using is in the table below:

Component

Top range

Processor

Pentium 4 3.0 GHz

RAM

1024MB

Hard drive

120GB

Optical drive

CD/DVD rewriter

Other drive

3 1/2″ floppy disc drive

Operating system

Windows XP Professional

Keyboard

Included

Mouse

Included

A0 Plotter

A0 plotter

Graphics table

A4 size

Price

7053.94

The network equipment I used was the same for each band of price because I managed to find the correct networking equipment for the company and a cheap price which will cater to all their needs. If I had chosen more expensive equipment for the other price bands there would be no improvement in performance or reliability as their network was only going to be used lightly and for small simple tasks. The specification of the networking equipment is shown below:

Component

Price

Cat-5E cable

3.32

NIC 10MB/100MB

29.01

Router

18.27

Total

50.60

Neil Nand Unit 15: System Justification

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