Times and costs analysis for sheet-metal cutting processes in an integrated CAD/CAM system
The aim of the present article is to develop a detailed time and cost analysis for process planning sheet-metal operations. A special computer module for determining the times and costs in sheet-metal operations has been developed and integrated in a CAD/CAM system which incorporates modules for nesting, toolpath generation, post-processing, etc. The special module allows all the geometrical and technological data from other modules in the CAD/CAM system (e.g. cutting conditions, toolpath parameters, types of material, cutting gases, etc.) required for the cost and time analysis to be automatically included without the need to manually enter the data in the module. This program can also be used as a 'stand alone' module, it has been developed with a graphic programming language (AutoLISP). Case studies are presented to highlight the benefits of using the program during practice.