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Title: Optimal choice of machine tool for a machining job in a CAE environment
Author: Kumar, Eshwar
ISNI:       0000 0004 2685 950X
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2010
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Developments in cutting tools, coolants, drives, controls, tool changers, pallet changers and the philosophy of machine tool design have made ground breaking changes in machine tools and machining processes. Modern Machining Centres have been developed to perform several operations on several faces of a workpiece in a single setup. On the other hand industry requires high value added components, which have many quality critical features to be manufactured in an outsourcing environment as opposed to the traditional in-house manufacture. The success of this manufacture critically depends on matching the advanced features of the machine tools to the complexity of the component. This project has developed a methodology to represent the features of a machine tool in the form of an alphanumeric string and the features of the component in another string. The strings are then matched to choose the most suitable and economical Machine Tool for the component’s manufacture. Literature identified that block structure is the way to answer the question ‘how to systematically describe the layout of such a machining centre’. Incomplete attempts to describe a block structure as alphanumeric strings were also presented in the literature. Survey on sales literature from several machine tool suppliers was investigated to systematically identify the features need by the user for the choice of a machine tool. Combining these, a new alphanumeric string was developed to represent machine tools. Using these strings as one of the ‘key’s for sorting a database of machine tools was developed. A supporting database of machine tools was also developed. Survey on machining on the other hand identified, that machining features can be used as a basis for planning the machining of a component. It analysed various features and feature sets proposed and provided and their recognition in CAD models. Though a vast number of features were described only two sets were complete sets. The project was started with one of them, (the other was carrying too many unwanted details for the task of this project) machining features supported by ‘Expert Machinist’ software. But when it became unavailable a ‘Feature set’ along those lines were defined and used in the generation of an alphanumeric string to represent the work. Comparing the two strings led the choice of suitable machines from the database. The methodology is implemented as a bolt on software incorporated within Pro/Engineer software where one can model any given component using cut features (mimicking machining operation) and produce a list of machine tools having features for the machining of that component. This will enable outsourcing companies to identify those Precision Engineers who have the machine tools with the matching apabilities. Supporting software and databases were developed using Access Database, Visual Basic and C with Pro/TOOLKIT functions. The resulting software suite was tested on several case studies and found to be effective.
Supervisor: Sivaloganathan, S. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Choice of machine tool ; Classification of machine tools ; Machine tolls in CAE ; Pro/Toolkit ; Pro/Engineer