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Intelligent Tool Management Strategies for Automated Manufacturing Systems

Author(s): D. Ganeshwar Rao | C. Patvardhan | Ranjit Singh

Journal: Intelligent Control and Automation
ISSN 2153-0653

Volume: 02;
Issue: 04;
Start page: 405;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Tool Management | Tool Selection | Tool Replacement | Multi-Tool Setup

With the increase in automation and use of computer control in machine tools, the number of cutting tools per machining setup is on the increase. On one hand, such multi-tool setups offer the advantages of reduced down-time and cost of production and require less space and in-process inventory, and on the other hand, require proper tool management for economic operations. A number of strategies have been devised to solve the tool selection problems and a number of tool replacement policies have been proposed in the past. These strategies have been solved in isolation, whereas, a comprehensive algorithm for proper selection of tools out of those available in the tool magazine for performing operation and for replacement of tools on failure/wear is necessary. In this paper, taking cue from the computer memory management policies, four tool selection strategies have been presented and their performance in tandem with various tool replacement policies has been studied. The effect of important parameters such as reduction of tool life due to regrinding, limited number of regrindings, catastrophic failures etc. have been considered. Cost has been computed for each combination of tool selection and replacement policy. Also, the number of machine stoppages has been worked out in each case. The results indicate that the combination of various selection strategies with suitable replacement policies affects the overall cost.
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