My company CNC manufactures about 30 different 2-dimensional 'widgets' in lot sizes of about 1000 parts. We have about 20 different products and the jobs typically take 3-12 days to complete depending on the cycle time and setup. As new products come about, I am constantly faced with the decision to design tooling to machine multiple parts at one time(long cycle), or to machine single parts (short cycle). Pros and Cons are somewhat obvious: long cycle--(Pros) more parts are milled per tool change, operator is free to work on other tasks, less waste (Cons)more parts at risk, longer setup, more expensive tooling, longer tool design and build time, more parts at risk if a tool breaks or wears... Does anyone have some advice or know of some good research articles or case studies that address this issue? Thanks
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