Department of Production Engineering, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, West Bengal, 700 032, India
Computer numerical control (CNC) machine tools are automated devices capable of generating complicated and intricate product shapes in shorter time. Selection of the best CNC machine tool is a critical, complex and time-consuming task due to availability of a wide range of alternatives and conflicting nature of several evaluation criteria. Although, the past researchers had attempted to select the appropriate machining centres using different knowledge-based systems, mathematical models and multi-criteria decision-making methods, none of those approaches has given due importance to the voice of customers. The aforesaid limitation can be overcome using quality function deployment (QFD) technique, which is a systematic approach for integrating customers’ needs and designing the product to meet those needs first time and every time. In this paper, the adopted QFD-based methodology helps in selecting CNC turning centres for a manufacturing organization, providing due importance to the voice of customers to meet their requirements. An expert system based on QFD technique is developed in Visual BASIC 6.0 to automate the CNC turning centre selection procedure for different production plans. Three illustrative examples are demonstrated to explain the real-time applicability of the developed expert system.