Constrained optimization analyses, strategies and CAM software for single pass face milling on CNC and conventional machine tools are outlined and discussed. The constrained optimization is based on criteria typified by the maximum production rate and allows for a range of machine tool constraints. The component surface roughness requirements are also taken into account for finish face milling operations. It is shown that the optimization approach involving mathematical analyses of constrained economic trends and their graphical representation on the feed-speed domain provides clearly defined strategies which guarantee the global optimum solutions and the software developed is suitable for on-line applications. Numerical simulation studies have verified the optimization strategies and computer software, and shown the economic superiority of optimization over handbook recommendations. The numerical studies have also highlighted the increased economic benefit of using optimization in process planning for modern computer-based manufacturing.