Machine planning in a product model environment
The aim of this research was to understand and solve problems associated with the integration of a Machine Planner within a product model environment. This work was carried out in conjunction with other researchers, pursuing parallel integration issues related to pre-production proving and product data representation. Product data representations of component level planned, processes and feature level process data have been explored as sub-sets of -a product data model to aid integration. Geometric queries on a cell decomposition solid, model. have been explored as a means of providing feature geometric interaction data, while the dimensional interactions between features have also been addressed. Product data representations have been modelled using a prototype software tool, providing an environment for the exploration of the integration of a Machine Planner using a feature based design approach. Necessary Machine Planning functions have been implemented, using the ADA programming language, to explore the integrating capability of the product model environment, concentrating on the use of a prismatic benchmark component. Using the experimental implementation, setup and operation plans have been produced and machining part programs generated from product model representations of variants on the benchmark component. These have been successfully machined using a3 axis vertical machining centre. Such experiments, as well as others in conjunction with co-researchers, have shown that a product data model can provide a common base of data for the integration of a range of design and manufacturing activities.