With recent globalization development in manufacturing industries, the traditional manufacturing strategy, Economies of Scale, is not suitable to meet the current globalization market. A significant challenge for the manufacturing sector is how to efficiently design manufacturing processes to meet the product customization. Manufacturing process design knowledge, at the product-level, process-level, and machine-level, is difficult to be managed and adopted by most existing computer-assisted process planning systems due to flat case structures and one-shot adaptation manners. Therefore, in this paper, a Hierarchical Case-Based Computer-Assisted Process Planning (HCB-CAPP) system is proposed, where manufacturing process design knowledge is represented by hierarchical case trees to manage the multi-level knowledge. Additionally, an interactive, multi-level case tree adaptation mechanism is proposed to assist designers in recursively retrieving and adapting case trees from product-level to machine-level to reuse and integrate previous design knowledge. According to the experimental result, novice designers agreed that this mechanism could realistically facilitate the manufacturing process design.
Journal of Computational Methods in Sciences and Engineering