Cutting Tool Selection: An Intelligent Methodology and its Interfaces with Technical and Planning Functions

P. G. Maropoulos*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a new cutting tool selection methodology, namely the intelligent tool selection (ITS), which covers the whole spectrum of tool specification and usage in machining environments. The selection process has five distinct levels and starts by deriving a local optimum solution at the process planning level, which is progressively optimized in the wider context of the shop-floor. Initially, multiple tools are selected for each machining operation and tool lists are formed by sorting selected tools in order of preference. The second selection level provides a tooling solution for a component by considering all the operations required as well as the characteristics of the machine tool. The selected tools are then rationalized by forming a set of tools for machining a variety of components on a given machine tool at level 3 and by increasing the use of common and standard tools within a group of machines at level 4. Finally, the fifth level aims at reducing tool inventory by classifying existing tools into categories according to their usage and is also used for introducing new tools into the manufacturing system. The selection method allows the implementation of the minimal storage tooling (MST) concept, by linking the ordering of new and replacement tools to production control. ITS also uses the concept of tool resources structure (TRS), which specifies all tooling resources required for producing a component. By using the framework provided by ITS, TRS and MST it can be shown that tooling technology interfaces with diverse company functions from design and process planning to material/tool scheduling and tool management. The selection methodology results in higher utilization of tools, improved efficiency of machining processes and reduced tool inventory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-60
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01 Feb 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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