An ever increasing variety of materials is available today, with each having its own characteristics, applications, advantages, and limitations. Many issues, such as better utilization of raw materials and energy, integration of design and manufacturing activities requiring the invention of suitable new manufacturing processes and techniques, still need to be dealt with. Today's manufacturing processes are caught between the growing need for quality, high process safety, minimal manufacturing costs, and short manufacturing times. Manufacturing process modelling and optimization not only remains an ongoing activity but has also becoming increasingly important in industry in the drive towards ‘agile manufacturing’.
In order to meet these demands, manufacturing process setting parameters have to be chosen in the best possible way, according to demand on quality. For such optimization, it is necessary to represent the manufacturing processes in a model. Due to the enormous complexity of many manufacturing processes and the high number of influencing parameters, however, conventional approaches to modelling and optimization are no longer sufficient. Accuracy and possibility of determining global optimum solution depend on the type of modelling technique used to express the objective functions and constraints in terms of the decision variables.
Accurate and reliable models of manufacturing processes can compensate for the inability to completely understand and adequately describe the process mechanism. Formulation of an optimization model is the most important task in the optimization process. It involves identifying the decision variables to be optimized, expressing the objective functions and constraints as function of decision variables, setting up of feasible ranges for decision variables (known as variable bounds), and finally expressing the optimization problem as a mathematical model in a standard format, which can be directly solved by an optimization algorithm. As the manufacturing processes get more and more complex, the process models are possibly discontinuous, non-differentiable, or non-explicit with the design variables. To solve the related optimization problems, one must resort to advanced modelling and optimization techniques.
This special issue invites the submission of high quality research articles related to advanced modelling and optimization of various materials and manufacturing processes. The issue encourages submissions from all over the world that expand the frontiers of the fundamental theories and concepts underlying materials and manufacturing processes and their modelling and optimization techniques.
Suitable topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Advanced modelling and optimization techniques
- Materials and manufacturing processes:
- Materials behaviour
- Casting processes
- Joining processes
- Forming processes
- Powder metallurgy processes
- Modern machining processes
- Manufacturing processes for polymers and composites
- Manufacturing processes for ceramics and glasses
- Micromachining processes
- Nano-finishing processes
- Ecological manufacturing processes
Submission: 31 March 2011