Computer numerical control machine tool information reusability within virtual machining systems

Parag Vichare, Vimal Dhokia, Xianzhi Zhang, Wai M Cheung, Wenlei Xiao, Lianyu Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (SciVal)
408 Downloads (Pure)


Virtual machining allows simulation of the machining process by realistically representing kinematic, static and dynamic behaviour of the intended machine tools. Using this method, manufacturing-related issues can be brought to light and corrected before the product is physically manufactured. Machining systems utilised in the manufacturing processes are represented in the virtual machining environment, and there is a plethora of commercial virtual machining software used in the industry. Each software system has a different focus and approach towards virtual machining; more than one system may be needed to complete machining verification. Thus, the significant increase in the use of virtual machining systems in the industry has increased the need for information reusability. Substantial time and money has been put into the research of virtual machining systems. However, very little of this research has been deployed within industrial best practice, and its acceptance by the end user remains unclear. This article reviews current research trends in the domain of virtual machining and also discusses how much of this research has been taken on board by software vendors in order to facilitate machine tool information reusability. The authors present use cases which utilise the novel concept of machining capability profile and the emerging STEP-NC compliant process planning framework for resource allocation. The use cases clearly demonstrate the benefits of using a neutral file format for representing machining capability profiles, as opposed to remodelling and/or reconfiguring of this information multiple times for different scenarios. This article has shown through the use cases that machining capability profiles are critical for representing recourse information from a kinematic, static and dynamic perspective that commercial software vendors can subsequently use. The impact of this on mainstream manufacturing industry is potentially significant as it will enable a true realisation of interoperability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-604
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture
Issue number4
Early online date17 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


  • Virtual machining
  • computer numerical control
  • computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing
  • digital manufacturing
  • interoperability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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