This paper presents an object-oriented feature-based CAD/CAPP/CAM integration framework in a concurrent engineering environment. The framework which is still under development at Yuan-Ze’s automation center is a layered hierarchy based on an object-oriented feature-based part model. The part model serves as a central database for design, process planning, and manufacturing related activities. Feature-based design approach in conjunction with feature recognition approach is incorporated in this integration framework. This dual approach can balance overall computational efficiency and modeling complexity of the interface between design and process planning.

There are three levels at the process planning stage : primary level, secondary level and detailing level. The primary level is concerned with the issues of intermediate shape generation. At the secondary process planning level the intermediate specifications of features and workpieces are determined. The detailing level elaborates on the selection of corresponding facilities and parameters for each manufacturing operation. This manufacturing information is used to drive the downstream CAM activities such as NC part programming, production control and scheduling, operation setup and so forth.

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