Proposed in this thesis is an integrated tool management (TM) system for NC machine shops. There are four areas to be benefited by the TM system; they are NC programming, machinability improvement, tool loading scheduling, and data processing for tool acquisition.
The proposed TM system is based the concept of individual tool control where a comprehensive information about each tool is provided in a separate record in the tool file. A tool record consists of a tool geometry data field, cutting condition field, control data field, and location data field.
The tool file system (or database) is maintained by a DBMS module, and a query module handles all the necessary information retrieval functions. A third module named a CAPP module is to be used as a link between the TM system and an automated process planning system. The proposed TM software system has been implemented in BASIC on an IBM PC/5550 computer.
Also proposed in the thesis is a step-by-step procedure of actually introducing the TM system in an NC machine shop. A case implementation has been tried at a mold die shop.