Manufacturing and Production Systems research line of the Department of Mechanical Engineering focuses on advanced manufacturing processes which are combined with the most advanced solutions to sense, monitor, control and inspect process and product quality, and the most innovative methods and tools for process and manufacturing system design, simulation, and optimization.
Hence, all the activities, required to transform ideas into final products making use of rapid, sustainable, personalized, zero-defect, eco-efficient, and smart manufacturing processes and systems, are integrated and investigated within the context of a highly competitive, globalized, and digital world from one-of-the-kind to mass production.
The research line is equipped with state-of-the-art research facilities with industrial, prototypal and experimental systems, testing and characterization equipment as well as dedicated software packages. In the laboratories, the complete material transformation phases are represented from process to its qualification to the complete production system. Process feasibility, optimization and control as well as production systems design and performance enhancements are covered within the research. Interdisciplinary research activities related to healthcare and biomedical sector are covered as well.
The research topics include the following:
- Additive manufacturing
- Advanced machining and machine tools
- Continuous improvement in manufacturing
- De-manufacturing systems for circular economy
- Discrete event simulation modeling and analysis
- Energy efficiency in manufacturing
- Geometric product specification and verification
- Intelligent data analysis, monitoring, and control
- Laser based manufacturing
- Micro manufacturing
- Performance evaluation and optimization of manufacturing systems
- Virtual manufacturing and simulations of manufacturing processes
- Water Jetting
The Research Line actively contributes to the manufacturing teaching at Politecnico di Milano as well as bridging the fundamental research (TRL 1-3) towards industrial applications (TRL 4-6). The Research Line works closely with industry, developing solutions, improving the existing processes (TRL 7-9) as well as training engineers and designers.
The Research Line serves to a variety of sectors including but not limited to aerospace, agriculture, automotive, biomedicine, civil construction, electronics, e-mobility, energy, healthcare, industrial automation and machine tools, oil and gas, precision mechanics, and railways.
The research line develops several solutions encompassing manufacturing processes, process and product quality as well as production system design and qualification.
In particular, additive manufacturing process such as powder bed fusion with lasers and electron beams, laser metal deposition with powder and wire, fused deposition modelling of metals, and binder jetting are studied with in-situ monitoring, control and data analysis. Biological tissue printing is approached with a solid basis from manufacturing research incorporating modelling and data analysis tools. Advanced machining solutions and machine tools with novel tool materials, machine concepts, and cryogenic systems are investigated. Laser based manufacturing processes are developed including welding, heat treatments, cladding, and texturing with their process modelling, monitoring and control. Micro manufacturing solutions are developed via chip removal and laser beam processing. Water jetting is studied with pure and abrasive water jets with process modelling, monitoring and control. Deformation of metals with conventional and flexible tools is carried out. Advanced coordinate metrology equipment and methods serves to novel and conventional processes.
From the production system perspective, the performance evaluation and optimization are carried out through analytical methods and discrete event simulation. Such approaches are re-interpreted towards interdisciplinary fields like resource planning in home care organizations.
Transversally to the processes and systems several manufacturing issues are addressed. Experimental and statistical methods for manufacturing process optimization and continuous improvement. Circular economy aspects are considered throughout the product life cycle from conceptualization to re-use and recycling. Energy efficiency of manufacturing processes and systems is assessed via modelling, simulation, and experimental approaches.
The Research Line of Manufacturing and Production Systems is at the first floor of Sesini bulding (former Origoni), via La Masa 1 (building B23-B).