Cam Design and Manufacturing Handbook by Robert L. Norton, Industrial Press, Inc., November 2001

Comprised of 18 chapters, 4 appendices, a bibliography, glossary of terms and a 9 page index, this book is really a combination of a reference handbook and a textbook covering all aspects of cam design and manufacture for both industrial and automotive valve cams. The multi-colored graphs and illustrations are concisely executed. Also included is a CD containing demonstration programs for Dynacam, FourBar, SixBar and Slider, computer applications written by the author. Dynacam is used throughout the book to compute the numerous motion examples and its operation is introduced in Appendix A.

After an introduction in Chapter 1, the next five chapters are devoted to the definition and development of motions. Chapter 2 is titled “Unacceptable Cam Curves” and examines some of the traditional curves that have been used for cams. The “Fundamental Law of Cam Design” is introduced and all motions in this and the following chapters are qualified against it. The author takes the reader through example situations of motion design to clearly develop a thorough understanding of the design process for dynamically acceptable motions. In addition to the traditional and modified curves that have been applied to cams, the use of polynomials and b-splines are examined in detail. It should be noted that the motion design process is applicable to motions for servo driven mechanisms as well.

Cam size and profile determination, material selection, lubrication, failure and manufacturing considerations are deftly presented. Dynamic modeling for cam systems is explained in detail beginning with modeling fundamentals and progressing through actual examples of both industrial and automotive valve applications. Chapter 11 is devoted to residual vibrations in cam systems.

Chapter 16 introduces the reader to the instrumentation methods available for the measurement of cam system performance. Chapter 17 contains to case studies; an automotive valve application and an industrial automation case that demonstrate the application of the methods of design and instrumentation that have been introduced throughout the book.

Chapter 18 is a summation of design considerations for cam systems and includes 20 design guidelines for cam systems. These guidelines are useful to both novice and experienced engineers. This decision process is applicable to common cam design problems as well as the most complex cam system situations.

In this reviewer’s opinion, Norton’s Cam Design and Manufacturing Handbook is an essential and valuable tool for any engineer who is engaged in the design of cam systems or motion development for servo devices. The material is presented so that the reader can develop a real understanding of cam and motion technology. The availability of the “Dynacam Professional” computer application permits those engineers engaged in cam and motion design easy access to the implementation of the handbook’s methods. The book would also be useful as a supplemental text for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses in cam mechanism design.