• Oleg Mihaylov Faculty of Industrial Technology, Technical University of Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Galina Nikolcheva Faculty of Industrial Technology, Technical University of Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Peter Popov Institute of Information and Communication Technologies, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria
Keywords: neural networks, setup generation, interacting features, technological process


The article presents an unsupervised learning algorithm that groups technological features in a setup for machining process. Setup generation is one of the most important tasks in automated process planning and in fixture configuration. A setup is created based on approach direction of the features.  The algorithm proposed in this work generates a neural network that determines the setup each feature belongs to, and the number of setups generated is minimal. This algorithm, unlike others, is not influenced by the order of the input sequence. Parallel implementation of the algorithm is straightforward and can significantly increase the computational performance.


Chen, C.L. P. Setup Generation and Feature Sequencing using an Unsupervised learning Algorithm. (1993). Proceedings NSF Design and Manufacturing Systems; 1, 981-986.

Delbressine, F.L.M., de Groot, R., Vanderwolf, A.C.H. (1993). On the automatic generation of set-ups given a feature-based design representation. Ann CIRP; 42(1): 527–530.

Joneja, A., Chang, T.C. Setup and fixture planning in automated process planning systems. (1999) IIE Trans; 31: 653–665.

Rong, K. Automatic setup planning: current state-of-art and future perspective. (2007). International Journal of manufacturing. Technology and Management; Vol.11, N02, 193-208.

Pao, Y.H., Komeyli, K., Shei, D., Le Clair, S.R., Winn, A. The Episodal Associative Memory: Managing Manufacturing Information on the Basis of Similarity and Associativity. (1993). Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing; 1, 125-140.

Sakurai, H. Automatic Setup Planning and Fixture Design for Machining.(1992).Journal of Manufacturing Systems; 11, 30-37.

Stampfer, M. Automated setup and fixture planning system for box-shaped parts. (2009). International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology; 45, 540–552.

Westhoven, T.E., Chen, C.L.P., Pao, Y.H., and LeClair, S.R. The Episodal Associative Memory Approach for Sequencing Interactive Features in Process Planning. (1992). AI for Eng., Design, Analy. And manufacturing; 6, 3, 177-197.