Concurrent Engineering has received a lot of attention from the manufacturing community recently. The basic idea is that it is very beneficial to design the processes that are required to produce a product at the same time that the product itself is being designed. This technique aims to reduce the time required to develop and bring to market a new product and also the time and cost to manufacture the product.
At present, there are many software packages available to carry out such tasks as Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Process Planning (CAPP). However they tend not to be able to communicate with each other. The ability to communicate would mean that the designer could immediately see the effect of a design change on the process plan of a product.
This paper examines the possibility of extracting surface feature data on turned parts from a commercially available CAD package and then to import this processed data directly into a CAPP package. Other relevant data (such as material type initial bar size, etc.) can also be passed to the CAPP package, possibly from a database.