Process comprehension for shopfloor manufacturing knowledge reuse

Xianzhi Zhang, Aydin Nassehi, Mehrdad Safaieh, Stephen T. Newman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Computer numerical controlled (CNC) machines play an important role in the production capacity of manufacturing enterprises. With the advance of computing technology, computer-aided systems (CAx) have been intensively used together with the CNC machines. The information flow from CAx to CNC machines is unidirectional, due to the widespread use of G&M codes to programme the CNC machines and the mechanism of the generation of part programmes. The CNC machines at the shopfloor have been isolated from the CAx chain. There is no automatic way to capture and feedback the shopfloor knowledge. Reusing shopfloor process knowledge offers the enterprises opportunities to improve manufacturing quality and control while enabling savings in cost and time. Rapid product development relies heavily on quick and reliable process planning and knowledge reuse to facilitate the process plan efficiently and effectively. In this research, the process comprehension approach has been utilised to capture the process knowledge at the shopfloor. A novel method has been proposed to reuse the process knowledge with different manufacturing resources. In this paper, a short review on manufacturing knowledge management is provided. The process comprehension approach is then presented. An example part is used as the case study to illustrate the knowledge capture using process comprehension and how the process knowledge can be utilised to manufacture the product with new manufacturing resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7405-7419
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Issue number23-24
Early online date22 Feb 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


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