A broad term used by the electronic design automation industry for the use of computers to design, analyze and manufacture products and processes. CAE includes CAD (see listing) and computer aided manufacturing (CAM), which is the use of computers for managing manufacturing processes.
Computer-aided engineering (CAE) is the broad usage of computer software to aid in engineering tasks. It includes computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided analysis (CAA), computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), material requirements planning (MRP), and computer-aided planning (CAP).
Software tools that have been developed to support these activities are considered CAE tools. CAE tools are being used, for example, to analyze the robustness and performance of components and assemblies. The term encompasses simulation, validation, and optimization of products and manufacturing tools. In the future, CAE systems will be major providers of information to help support design teams in decision making.
CAE systems can provide support to businesses. This is achieved by the use of reference architectures and their ability to place information views on the business process. Reference architecture is the basis from which information model, especially product and manufacturing models.