Tool sharing in parallel part production

W.M. Nawijn, G.J.C. Gaalman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
166 Downloads (Pure)


A group of identical NC machines, laid out in a line, manufactures relatively few part types in large batch size. Parts of the same type are processed by the machines simultaneously. The operations on a part are performed by one machine only, using a part type specific tool set. During batch production the tool magazines of the machines contain the same set of tools. If the machine group is provided with an automatic tool transport system then tools can be shared. Therefore, the number of identical tools can be reduced and savings with respect to investment in tools are possible. A disadvantage of tool sharing is that machines might become idle because tools have not arrived in time. Suitable dispatching and scheduling of the tool transportation device can reduce these machine waiting times. In this paper the characteristics of the production situation are examined. The consequences of three tool transport policies with respect to transport time and transport frequency of the transportation device are analyzed. Analytical results are presented and some extensions are discussed. The method presented provides a way to analyze transport rules in this type of systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-533
Number of pages13
JournalInternational journal of production economics
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • METIS-140760
  • IR-30121


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