Mini Special Issue on Virtual Manufacturing
Traditional manufacturing is based on process-planning by experienced engineers, who iteratively try their methods in the shop until the results are satisfactory. This trial-and-error-based approach increases the product costs due to high scrap rates and conservative manufacturing strategies. The trend is to digitally simulate, optimize, and plan manufacturing before costly physical trials. The quality of virtual manufacturing depends on the accuracy of process models based on scientific principles. The aim of this special issue is to show how the manufacturing process physics can be incorporated into digital engineering steps to achieve virtual manufacturing. This special issue has four articles illustrating sample virtual machining strategies. Process plans are automatically generated by considering the part features; machining of flexible thin walls is planned by considering their static stiffness; the environmental impact is considered in simulating machining costs of parts and chatter free conditions are predicted in milling metallic parts with robots. I thank the authors and reviewers for their valuable contributions to the special issue. We hope to trigger digital modeling of various, challenging machining operations in the future.