A Systematic Approach for Analyzing the Manufacturability of Machined Parts

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The ability to quickly introduce new quality products is a decisive factor in capturing market share. Because of pressing demands to reduce lead time, analyzing the manufacturability of the proposed design has become an important step in the design stage. This paper presents an approach for analyzing the manufacturability of machined parts.

Evaluating the manufacturability of a proposed design involves determining whether or not it is manufacturable with a given set of manufacturing operations - and if so, then finding the associated manufacturing efficiency. Since there can be several different ways to manufacture a proposed design, this requires us to consider different ways to manufacture it, in order to determine which one best meets the design and manufacturing objectives.

The first step in our approach is to identify all machining operations which can potentially be used to create the given design. Using these operations, we generate different operation plans for machining the part. Each time we generate a new operation plan, we examine whether it can produce the desired shape and tolerances, and calculate its manufacturability rating. If no operation plan can be found that is capable of producing the design, then the given design is considered unmachinable; otherwise, the manufacturability rating for the design is the rating of the best operation plan.

We anticipate that by providing feedback about possible problems with the design, this work will help in speeding up the evaluation of new product designs in order to decide how or whether to manufacture them. Such a capability will be useful in responding quickly to changing demands and opportunities in the marketplace.