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Materials engineering, Business and Management.
Design of casting entails the knowledge of various interacting factors that are unique to casting process, and, quite often, product designers do not have the required foundry-specific knowledge. Casting designers normally have to liaise with casting experts in order to ensure the product designed is castable and the optimum casting method is selected. This two-way communication results in long design lead times, and lack of it can easily lead to incorrect casting design. A computer-based system at the discretion of a design engineer can, however, alleviate this problem and enhance the prospect of casting design for manufacture. This paper proposes a knowledge-based expert system approach to assist casting product designers in selecting the most suitable casting process for specified casting design requirements, during the design phase of product manufacture. A prototype expert system has been developed, based on production rules knowledge representation technique. The proposed system consists of a number of autonomous but interconnected levels, each dealing with a specific group of factors, namely, casting alloy, shape and complexity parameters, accuracy requirements and comparative costs, based on production quantity. The user interface has been so designed to allow the user to have a clear view of how casting design parameters affect the selection of various casting processes at each level; if necessary, the appropriate design changes can be made to facilitate the castability of the product being designed, or to suit the design to a preferred casting method.
Er, A., Sweeney, E., Kondic, V., (1996) Knowledge-Based System for Casting Process Selection, American Foundry Society (AFS) Transactions, Vol. 104, pp. 363-370.