This paper presents research that establishes a systematic methodology and knowledge base for an injection-molding mold design in a concurrent engineering environment. This methodology is, in general, analogous to the methods of design for manufacturing, and is, however, in collaboration with activities of molding product design and mold manufacturing process planning. The practical goal of this research is twofold: to develop a mold-development process that facilitates concurrent engineering-based practice and to develop a knowledge-based design aid for injection-molding mold design that accommodates manufacturability concerns, as well as requirements of products. The research approach includes (i) process modeling and reengineering for concurrent mold design, (ii) identification of functional requirements with a computer-based system, (iii) system framework design, and (iv) system modeling and implementation. The framework supports concurrent engineering based mold design by providing advisory tools that are able to resolve relevant issues at the early stages of mold design. The results of this research will facilitate the rationalization and automation of the mold development process, thus improving the efficiency and quality of, and reducing the cost of, mold development.
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