In some machining operations tools may fail suddenly in a catastrophic way. Multi-tool setups, where several tools are engaged simultaneously and a single tool failure may impair the whole operation, are particularly sensitive to such a failure mode. Selection of tool replacement strategy may then become a major problem, whose solution is often hampered by scarcity of data. Sometimes no optimal strategy may exist, and little can be done acting on tool replacement only to improve the situation. However, given a minimum amount of information, simple simulation methods help to assess effectively alternative policies.

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