This paper describes an expert system developed for assisting the sheet metal planner in making an intelligent selection of the press machine from the alternative machines available on a given shop floor for carrying out a given sheet metal operation. The proposed system comprises of a shop-specific data base on press machines and a knowledge base comprising of a set of production rules of the IF–THEN variety. The proposed system generates friendly prompts for eliciting from the user data pertaining to the job. The system output includes the required press tonnage, the alternative press machines from those available on the shop floor that can handle the given job at the required rate of production and job accuracy, and the identification of the most economical
of the above machines. The proposed expert system incorporates autoLISP built functions which are called into the prompt area of autoCAD. Illustrative examples have been included for demonstrating the usefulness of the proposed expert system. The low cost of the system makes it affordable even by small-and medium-sized enterprises.