Computer-aided process planning


Computer-aided process planning

Computer-aided process planning (CAPP) is the use of computer technology to aid in the process planning of a part or product, in manufacturing. CAPP is the link between CAD and CAM in that it provides for the planning of the process to be used in producing a designed part. [1]

Contents

Computer-aided process planning

Introduction

Process planning is concerned with determining the sequence of individual manufacturing operations needed to produce a given part or product. The resulting operation sequence is documented on a form typically referred to as a route sheet containing a listing of the production operations and associated machine tools for a workpart or assembly. Process planning in manufacturing also refers to the planning of use of blanks, spare parts, packaging material, user instructions (manuals) etc.

The term "Computer-Aided Production Planning" is used in different context on different parts of the production process; to some extent CAPP overlaps with the term "PIC" (Production and Inventory Control).

Process planning translates design information into the process steps and instructions to efficiently and effectively manufacture products. As the design process is supported by many computer-aided tools, computer-aided process planning (CAPP) has evolved to simplify and improve process planning and achieve more effective use of manufacturing resources.[2].

Process planning encompasses the activities and functions to prepare a detailed set of plans and instructions to produce a part. The planning begins with engineering drawings, specifications, parts or material lists and a forecast of demand. The results of the planning are:

  • Routings which specify operations, operation sequences, work centers, standards, tooling and fixtures. This routing becomes a major input to the manufacturing resource planning system to define operations for production activity control purposes and define required resources for capacity requirements planning purposes.
  • Process plans which typically provide more detailed, step-by-step work instructions including dimensions related to individual operations, machining parameters, set-up instructions, and quality assurance checkpoints.
  • Fabrication and assembly drawings to support manufacture (as opposed to engineering drawings to define the part).

Keneth Crow [3] stated that "Manual process planning is based on a manufacturing engineer's experience and knowledge of production facilities, equipment, their capabilities, processes, and tooling. Process planning is very time-consuming and the results vary based on the person doing the planning".

According to Engelke [4], the need for CAPP is greater with an increased number of different types of parts being manufactured, and with a more complex manufacturing process.

Computer-aided process planning initially evolved as a means to electronically store a process plan once it was created, retrieve it, modify it for a new part and print the plan. Other capabilities were table-driven cost and standard estimating systems, for sales representatives to create customer quotations and estimate delivery time.

Future development of CAPP

Generative or dynamic CAPP is the main focus of development, the ability to automatically generate production plans for new products, or dynamicly update production plans on the basis of resource availability. Generative CAPP will probably use iterative methods, where simple production plans are applied to automatic CAD/CAM development to refine the initial production plan.

Traditional CAPP methods that optimise plans in a linear manner have not been able to satisfy the need for flexible planning, so new dynamic systems will explore all possible combinations of production processes, and then generate plans according to available machining resources. For example, K.S. Lee et al. states that "By considering the multi-selection tasks simultaneously, a specially designed genetic algorithm searches through the entire solution space to identify the optimal plan" [5].

See also

References

  1. ^ Engelke, William D. (1987), "How to Integrate CAD/CAM Systems: Management and Technology",P.237-238. CRC press. ISBN 0824776585.
  2. ^ http://www.npd-solutions
  3. ^ http://www.npd-solutions.com/capp.html
  4. ^ Engelke, William D. (1987), "How to Integrate CAD/CAM Systems: Management and Technology",P.237-238. CRC press. ISBN 0824776585.
  5. ^ http://www.inderscience.com/search/index.php?action=record&rec_id=273&prevQuery=&ps=10&m=or

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