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During the preliminary design of a mechanical system, designers have always needed to test different concepts in order to find a final mechanical architecture that replies to their demands. They change parameter values, re-execute the calculation, add objects, change technological solution, modify or add hypotheses, etc. The different concepts manipulate often components whose interactions are essential for a good functioning of the system and an economic execution of the design process. In fact, most of components do not reply solely to one desired function, but participate also to the behavior of the system and the geometrical definition of the other components. In mechanical design, all of these functionalities have to be taken in consideration by the definition of relationships between objects. This paper proposes a design methodology for automatic configuration of kinematic chain of multi-spindle drilling boxes. This approach is based firstly on an object-oriented architecture for the representation of the various components and assembly of the system and secondly on an expert system for decision making and automatic determination of a possible kinematic chain for a given application. This is done by taking into consideration the design criteria of gearboxes.

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