Vol. 2, Issue 2 (2018)
Computer aided process planning in manufacturing: A review
Author(s): Charles Chikwendu Okpala, Austin Kelechi Okonkwo
Abstract: Process planning is defined as the sequence of individual manufacturing operations required to manufacture a product, it entails a set of manufacturing features which usually starts with the selection of raw materials through completion of the finished product. In the 21st century competitive manufacturing where emphasis has shifted from achieving customer’s satisfaction to exceeding his expectations, there is a need to develop an efficient process plan with numerous advantages over the manual approach that is characterized with many shortcomings. The Computer-Aided Process Planning (CAPP), which is the integration of computer to process planning is an efficient technology that incorporates design and manufacturing, by offering the solution to the bottleneck situations experienced by manual or traditional process planners. This paper gave a detailed definition of Process planning, Computer-Aided Process Planning, the two dominant methods of CAPP – Variant/Retrieval and Generative, as well as the significant role of CAPP in a typical manufacturing industry. Apart from general manufacturing efficiency, less calculation errors, enhanced use of raw materials and production scheduling, other listed benefits of successful application of CAPP include: 47% reduction in product throughput time, 35% improvement in process planning efficiency, 32% reduction in setup time, 7% reduction in total production cost, 10% savings in direct labor, etc. The paper concluded by explaining that CAPP is very important in automated manufacturing, and thrives in an environment that produces a wide variety of products, as all the problems of manual process planning are addressed with its proper implementation.