Simulation and Process Design

The division Simulation and Process Design focuses on the simulation-based analysis and optimization of NC machining processes with defined and undefined cutting edges (fig.). The research work is characterized by an interdisciplinary cooperation between mechanical engineers, computer scientists, and statisticians.

Fig.: Main activities of the division Simulation and Process Design

Basic investigations, e.g., the machining of hardened high-speed steel, are complemented by the development of innovative processes for structuring free-form surfaces using high feed and micro milling as well as grinding and machine hammer peening.

One of the main research topics is the development of process simulation systems for the analysis and optimization of machining processes. Regarding for example the simultaneous multi-axis micro- and macromachining of complex structures, e.g., for the mold and die production or the aircraft industry, a simulation system for the analysis of the changing engagement conditions during the NC milling of complex free-formed surfaces and the resulting effects is developed. For instance, the loads on the milling tool, complex vibration effects, thermomechanical deformations, and tool wear are investigated in various research works. The modeling and analysis of regenerative vibrations resulting from the interaction of the machining process and the dynamic behavior of the tool-workpiece-machine-system is one of the main research areas. The combination of process models and sensors for an adaptive process control or the use of process simulations during computer-aided process planning are current research topics. In addition to the milling simulation, models for grinding and honing are developed to predict the resulting surface topographies.

In conclusion, the potential of process simulations, whose application area comprises detailed analysis of the machining process at the cutting edge, the design of fixture systems and machine tool concepts, and the utilization during the factory planning process, is investigated in different projects of fundamental research and industry-related cooperation.