School of Engineering
Special purpose machines (SPMs) are customized machine tools that perform specific machining operations in a variety of production contexts, including drilling-related operations. This research investigates the effect of optimal process parameters and SPM configuration on the machine tool selection problem versus product demand changes. A review of previous studies suggests that the application of optimization in the feasibility analysis stage of machine tool selection has received less attention by researchers. In this study, a simulated model using genetic algorithm is proposed to find the optimal process parameters and machine tool configuration. During the decision-making phase of machine tool selection, unit profit is targeted as high as possible and is given by the value of the following variables: SPM configuration selection, machining unit assignment to each operation group, and feed and cutting speed of all operations. The newly developed model generates any random chromosome characterized by feasible values for process parameters. Having shown how the problem is formulated, the research presents a case study which exemplifies the operation of the proposed model. The results show that the optimization results can provide critical information for making logical, accurate, and reliable decisions when selecting SPMs.