Plan Reuse and Plan Merging in Manufacturing Process Planning

Michael M. Marefat and John M. Britanik

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of Arizona
Tucson, Arizona 85721

Email: { marefat,britanik}


This research focuses on the development of a process planning system. This system utilizes case-based techniques for process selection and sequencing to combine the advantages of the variant and generative approaches to process planning. The case-based process planner operates on general 3D prismatic parts, represented by a collection of features (eg: slots, pockets, holes, etc.). Each feature subplan is developed by the case-based planner. Then the feature subplans are combined into the global process plan for the part via a hierarchical plan merging mechanism. Abstracted feature subplans correspond to cases, which are used in subsequent planning operations to solve new problems. The abstracting and storing of feature subplans as cases is the primary mechanism by which the planner learns from its previous experiences to become more effective and efficient.