Hybrid Evolutionary Approaches to CNC Drill Route Optimization

A problem in computer numeric control (CNC) manufacturing is the minimization of the distance a drilling tool has to move in order to drill holes at given locations. After introducing the problem being an instance of the traveling salesman problem (TSP) we describe the Route Optimizer RO3 based on an evolutionary algorithm (EA). In experiments with real-world problem instances we were able to improve the results of RO3 by hybridization with the 2-opt heuristic to route lengths being 6% above the optimum. In its hybrid version RO3 achieves machine time savings of about 10% compared to visual optimization by a human expert.
Helmut A. Mayer

Last modified: Aug 3 2006