Research Papers

Recent Advances and Future Challenges in Automated Manufacturing Planning

[+] Author and Article Information
David Bourne

 Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213db@ri.cmu.edu

Jonathan Corney

 Department of Design, Manufacture and Engineering Management, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, G1 1XJ, United KingdomJonathan.Corney@strath.ac.uk

Satyandra K. Gupta1

 Department of Mechanical Engineering and Institute for Systems Research, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742skgupta@umd.edu


Corresponding author.

J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng 11(2), 021006 (Jun 21, 2011) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3593411 History: Received October 20, 2010; Revised January 29, 2011; Published June 21, 2011; Online June 21, 2011

The effective planning of a product’s manufacture is critical to both its cost and delivery time. Recognition of this importance has motivated over 30 years of research into automated planning systems and generated a large literature covering many different manufacturing technologies. But complete automation has proved difficult in most manufacturing domains. However, as manufacturing hardware has evolved to become more automated and computer aided design software has been developed to support the creation of complex geometries; planning the physical fabrication of a virtual model is still a task that occupies thousands of engineers around the world, every day. We intend for this paper to be useful to newcomers in this field, who are interested in placing the current state-of-the-art in context and identifying open research problems across a range of manufacturing processes. This paper discusses the capabilities, limitations and challenges of automated planning for four manufacturing technologies: machining, sheet metal bending, injection molding, and mechanical assembly. Rather than presenting an exhaustive survey of research in these areas, we focus on identifying the characteristics of the planning task in different domains, current research directions, and open problems in each area. Our key observations are as following. First, the incorporation of AI techniques, geometric modeling, computational geometry, optimization, and physics-based modeling has led to significant advances in the automated planning area. Second, commercial tools are available to aid the manufacturing planning process in most manufacturing domains. Third, manufacturing planning is computationally challenging and still requires significant human input in most manufacturing domains. Fourth, advancement in several emerging areas has the potential to create, in the near future, a step-change in the capabilities of automated planning systems. Finally, we believe that deploying fully automated planning systems can lead to significant productivity benefits.

Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Complex aircraft component [2]

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Figure 2

Feature interactions on a mill/turn component [10]

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Figure 3

Four sash parts that have various features that are relative to tool choices as well as exact part geometries and machine geometries.

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Figure 4

A complex sheet metal component and associated tooling



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