The optimization problem for multistage machining systems has been investigated. Due to uneven time requirements at different stages in manufacturing, there could be idle times at various stations. It may be advantageous to reduce the values of machining parameters in order to reduce the cost at stations that require less machining time. However, optimization techniques available through the literature do not effectively utilize the idle time for the different stations generated during the balancing of the system. Proposed in this paper is an optimization method which utilizes the idle time to the full extent at all machining stations, with the intention of improving tool life and thus achieving cost reduction. The mathematical analysis considers the optimization of the production cost with an equality constraint of zero idle time for the stations with idle time. Physical constraints regarding the cutting parameters, force, power, surface finish, etc., as they arise in different operations, are also considered. The aforementioned problem has been theoretically analyzed and a computational algorithm developed. The advantages and effectiveness of the proposed approach are finally established through an example.

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