A distributed decision support system for turning and milling operations using the internet
The machine tool industry is highly dependent on the tooling which is needed to machine the components used to make the range of products seen in today's society. The range of tooling available to machinists is prolific and subject to continual growth. Those engineers faced with the task of process planning require advanced systems to support the decisions that need to be made for the production process to operate smoothly. The tooling data made available by these systems is a key factor in defining the efficiency with which the production processes can be carried out. This research examines the technical decision support systems made available to industrialists and highlights the scope to provide tooling engineers with up-to-date tooling performance and use data that can be used both in the planning stages as well as dealing with problems encountered during production. Specifically, this research identifies the role performed by widespread tool trials, associated with new tools or new materials, and goes on to show how the information obtained from tool trials can be collated in a structured manner and used to enhance the provision of data with which to carry out the process planning task. The goal of this research was to develop and implement a framework capable of collecting and disseminating data related to tool trials in a coherent and supportive fashion using distributed methods. This target resulted in the deployment of a system named JadeT, which is capable of receiving and analysing data from tool trials and subsequently enhancing the process planning task by basing cutting parameter selection on a combination of fundamental cutting parameter algorithms in parallel with using the approved data generated from tool trials. The JadeT system was tested via the creation of a database using actual tool trial reports, and the manner in which this data was used to provide cutting parameters was analysed. The JadeT system has been developed, deployed and evaluated. The opportunity to use data contained within tool trial reports to support process planning tasks has been identified and exploited. The testing of JadeT indicates that the system fulfils the initial goals and was able to provide suggestions for further research in this area.