The objective of the research is to study the design of and operating strategies
for advanced tool flow systems in highly automated turning systems. A prototype
workstation has been built to aid this process. The thesis consists of three main
parts. In the first part the current flexible manufacturing technology is reviewed
with emphasis laid on tool flow and production scheduling problems. The
'State-of-the-Art' turning systems are studied, to highlight the requirement of the
computer modelling of tool flow systems.
In the second part, the design of a computer model using fast modelling
algorithms is reported. The model design has concentrated on the tool flow system performance forecasting and improving. Attention has been given to the full
representation of highly automatic features evident in turning systems.
A number of contemporary production scheduling rules have been
incorporated into the computer model structure, with the objectives of providing a
frontend to the tool flow model, and to examine the tool flow problems
interactively with the production scheduling rules.
The user-interface of the model employs conversational type screens for tool
flow network specification and data handling, which enhances its user friendliness
greatly. An effective, fast, and easy to handle data base management system for
tool, part, machine data entries has been· built up to facilitate the model
The third part of the thesis is concerned with the validation and application of
the model with industry supplied data to examine system performance, and to
evaluate alternative strategies. Conclusions drawn from this research and the
recommendations for further work are finally indicated.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.