The conventional product development cycle time in producing a part can be reduced by eliminating design errors and difficult to machine features before manufacturing process begins. This paper discusses the identification, development, and operation of an approach which uses a global data base of flexible manufacturing cell capabilities in order to analyze a design for manufacturability. Designs which the cell is unable to produce are rejected, and ways in which a design may be made more producible are suggested to the user. This paper addresses issues, such as availability of material, fixture, and tool and the achievability of tolerance. The approach is implemented on a cell containing a machining center and material handling equipment operating under a rapid prototyping protocol. An important contribution of this work is the wide variety of manufacturability constraints covered and the convenience of including it in the overall process of product development.

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