This paper aims to study the methodology of building the knowledge of planning adequate punches in order to complete the task of strip layout for shearing processes, using progressive dies. The proposed methodology uses die design rules and characteristics of different types of punches to classify them into five groups: prior use (the punches must be used first), posterior use (must be used last), compatible use (may be used together), sequential use (certain punches must precede some others) and simultaneous use (must be used together). With these five groups of punches, the searching space of feasible designs will be greatly reduced, and superimposition becomes a more effective method of punch layout. The superimposition scheme will generate many feasible solutions, an evaluation function based on number of stages, moment balancing and strip stability is developed for helping designers to find better solutions.
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