Automated Manufacturability Evaluation for Microwave Modules
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Current competitive trends in manufacturing require full implementation of concurrent engineering, i.e. the consideration of all relevant aspects of a product's life cycle in the design phase. This research work focuses on the manufacturability evaluation of Microwave Modules (MWM's), providing critical feedback to the designer at the early stages of product development. MWM's are assemblies with both electrical and mechanical manufacturing requirements. In the present context, manufacturability evaluation includes two sequential stages: feasibility assessment and manufacturability rating. The feasibility assessment module relies on a rule-based "rough-cut" process planning system that determines whether a given design can be produced with available equipment, either in a global setting or within a specific plant. Next, the manufacturability rating module uses an experience-based rating scheme to quantify the difficulty associated with manufacturing the designed product. The concurrent engineering software tool uses Group Technology (GT) codes and detailed information on critical design attributes provided by an existing GT-based design processor.