Enhancing the performance of manufacturing operations represents a significant goal, especially when cost savings are linked with economies of scale to be exploited. In the area of machining optimization, the selection of optimal cutting parameters subjected to a set of technological constraints plays a key role. This paper presents a novel hybrid particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithm for minimizing the production cost associated with multi-pass turning problems. The proposed optimization technique consists of a PSO-based framework wherein a properly embedded simulated annealing (SA), namely an SA-based local search, aims both to enhance the PSO search mechanism and to move the PSO away from being closed within local optima. In order to handle the numerous constraints which characterize the adopted machining mathematical model, a constraint violation function integrated with a suitable objective function has been engaged. In addition, a twofold strategy has been implemented to manage the equality constraint between the provided total depth of cut and the number of passes to be performed. Firstly, an accurate problem encoding involving only five cutting parameters has been performed. Secondly, a proper repair procedure that should be run just before any solution evaluation has been engaged. Five different test cases based on the multi-pass turning of a bar stock have been used for comparing the performance of the proposed technique with other existing methods. © 2010 Springer-Verlag London Limited.
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