Computer-aided process planning has been recognized as an important tool for coordinating the different operations involved in making the product. While temporal knowledge is central to the design of efficient and reliable process plans, little attention is given to the integration of process planning and temporal processing and reasoning. To fill the void, we propose in this paper a practical approach, which is inspired by the framework of Temporal Constraint Satisfaction Problem (TCSP), to integrate process planning and temporal reasoning. We show that a TCSP formulation is a subset of a formulation using a reified temporal logic, and discuss the advantages of using such a restricted model. To reflect more realistic process planning encountered in real manufacturing environments, we present a model, called n-TCSP, which is a generalization of the TCSP framework. We envision the proposed temporal reasoning framework as one of the modules in the evolving new intelligent computer-aided process planning.
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