The main objective of this thesis is to develop a computerized process planning system that generates near optimal process plans for mixed production technologies. The system will be based on product models described by Boolean equations.

As directed by the main objective, a more specific set of objectives were selected to give the research some direction and criteria for evaluating the final success of the approach. These are given in the short list below:

• Be able to recognize alternative production technologies for manufacture of product features. This requires the planner to be able to consider multiple planning domains.

• Be able to produce alternative operations for each feature.

• Allow some degree of innovation in the process plan,.

• Permit a structure that allows feedback of production problems to the process planner.

• To allow the computer to reduce the knowledge barrier between process planning and production.

• Minimize human effort and intervention when process planning.

• Be capable of accepting new manufacturing technologies without fundamental changes in the process planner.

• Be able to optimize process plans.

• Handle all products.

• Simplify the problem of recognizing features from the design.

Many authors have used some or all of these goals when developing process planning systems, as will be seen in the literature review.