Automatic process planning of mold components with integration of feature recognition and group technology
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The machining process of plastic injection mold components is complex and continuously changing, and traditional practices rely on the experience and technique of professionals. In order to avoid the impact on business operations and losses, the geometric information of computer-aided design (CAD) systems should be converted into the manufacturing system required for computer-aided process planning (CAPP) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) systems through the integration of automatic feature recognition and group technology, thereby eliminating manual planning and shortening the planned lead time to realize CAD/CAPP/CAM integration and application. As part design is feature-based, each processing step can be regarded as a feature. This study applied hybrid recognition technology integrating the graph-based approach, rule-based approach, and hint-based approach to analyze and identify injection mold component shape features. Then, it established classification coding for data description according to the injection mold components before searching for the corresponding manufacturing processes in the database using the group technology. The case proved that the CAPP in this study could reduce about 90 % of the working time needed. It could accelerate the component planning process and integrate with the mold manufacturing scheduling to realize automated design and manufacturing.
KeywordsPlastic injection mold Process planning Graph-based approach Rule-based approach Hint-based approach Group technology
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