Automating redesign is an approach for engineering designers to prevent design related manufacturability problems in early product development and thus reduce costly design iterations. A vast amount of work exists, with most research findings seemingly staying within the research community rather than finding its way into use in industrial settings where research issues have often evolved from the concerned applied research. The aim of this paper is to present an approach with industrial implementation potential regarding automating redesign of sheet-metal components in early product development to avoid manufacturing problems due to design flaws and non-optimal designs. Geometry, generated by a knowledge-based engineering (KBE) system, gives input to the case-based reasoning (CBR) governed manufacturing planning. If geometry is found non-manufacturable or enhancement of already manufacturable geometry is possible, the CBR system will suggest redesign actions to resolve the problem. CBR extends the capabilities of the rule-based KBE-system by enabling plan-based evaluation. The approach has the potential for industrial implementation, since KBE is often closely coupled to an industrial CAD-system, hence enabling technology is at the industry. Also, combining KBE and CBR reduces the coding effort compared to coding the whole design support with CBR, as feature recognition is simplified by means of KBE. A case study of development of sheet-metal manufactured parts at a Swedish automotive industry partner presents the method in use. As it is shown that redesign can be automated for sheet-metal parts there is a potential for reducing costly design and manufacturing iterations.

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