Contemporary process planners for sheet metal bending solve the process planning problem for individual parts. Quite often, many different parts can be produced on shared setups. However, plans generated by current process planning systems fail to exploit this commonality between setups and try to generate optimal setups for individual parts. In this paper, we present an algorithm for multi-part setup planning for sheet metal bending. This algorithm takes a set of parts and operation sequences for these parts, and tries to find a shared setup plan that can work for every part in the set. Setup changes constitute a major portion of the production time in batch production environments. Therefore, multi-part setup planning techniques can be used to significantly cut down the total number of setups and increase the overall through-put.

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