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The management of tool flow in highly automated batch manufacturing systems

posted on 12.01.2018, 10:08 by Robert B.R. De Souza
An overall framework to provide a complete tool management solution to an existing or specified manufacturing system is constructed, and prototype software provided, for a hierarchy of levels of tool flow automation. The work is targeted at the design and operation of tooling systems for prismatic parts flexible machining systems ranging from stand-alone unmanned machining stations to highly automated multi-machine multi-cell configurations. The research work moves from identification and category definition of a tool flow network appropriate for the manufacturing requirements, through the careful selection and definition of operating rules and strategies to the evaluation of the options available for tool issue and assignment. Two main computer aids (design facilities) to provide support in a systems thinking approach to tool flow management have been developed and tested with the aid of case studies. The essential role of these design facilities is the timely scheduling of tools to satisfy a short to medium term manufacturing task, and to examine the cost and number of captive tools under selected rules and strategies.


SERC, ACME Directorate.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


© Robert B.R. de Souza

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 2.5 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.5) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.5/

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy at Loughborough University. Volume 2, 'User Interface, Case Studies & Published Papers', has been redacted for reasons relating to the law of copyright. For more information please contact the author.



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