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Tools for Manufacturing Process Planning

Introduction

Process planning prepares a production documentation which specifies the operations and operation sequence necessary to manufacture a product. Process planning is defined as an act that determines the manufacturing operations, operation sequence, and resources required to make a product. In the process domain, there are machining process planning, welding process planning, EDM process planning, forming process planning, etc. In the product domain, there are mechanical part process planning, mechanical assembly process planning, and electronics assembly process planning. The input to a process planning system (or a human process planner) can be an engineering drawing, a CAD model, or a three- dimensional solid model. While most human planners prefer an engineering drawing on paper or in electronic form, process planning systems usually use CAD models.

The result of the process-planning activity is a ―process plan‖ (see Figure 13.4.1), also called route sheet, operation sheet, or operation planning summary. It can be as aggregate as a list of work center identification numbers or as elaborate as a 50-page document with setup drawings, tool specifications, operation time estimates, etc.

Since the information on the process plan is used in scheduling the production and controlling the machine, the production efficiency and the product quality are affected.

Manual Process Planning

Process planning involves several or all of the following activities:

* Selection of machining operations

* Sequencing of machining operations

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