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Recycling of cutting tools in flexible manufacturing systems

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Flexible manufacturing systems (FMS) are complex, with a high variety of entities. In particular, tool management is critically important for timely manufacture. Since a large number of tools flow in a medium-size FMS, it is important to design and operate the tool management system (TMS) to guarantee unmanned and streamlined manufacturing. In this work, a new strategy is developed to minimize the tooling cost by recycling the partially used tools within the manufacturing cell. A particular TMS design strategy, entitled workpiece-oriented tool flow, is considered. Under this strategy, three different tool issue sub-strategies are used to assign tools to available machines. These sub-strategies are measured against cell and tooling performance criteria and are compared to each other with and without recycling. Conclusions are drawn for some different cell configurations and the results are highlighted for different performance criteria.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2003

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