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International Journal of Computer Integrated


Manufacturing
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A review of hybrid manufacturing processes – state of


the art and future perspectives
a a a a
Z. Zhu , V.G. Dhokia , A. Nassehi & S.T. Newman
a
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Bath, Bath, BA2 7AY, UK
Published online: 01 Feb 2013.

To cite this article: Z. Zhu , V.G. Dhokia , A. Nassehi & S.T. Newman (2013): A review of hybrid manufacturing
processes – state of the art and future perspectives, International Journal of Computer Integrated Manufacturing,
DOI:10.1080/0951192X.2012.749530

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International Journal of Computer Integrated Manufacturing, 2013
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0951192X.2012.749530

A review of hybrid manufacturing processes – state of the art and future perspectives
Z. Zhu, V.G. Dhokia, A. Nassehi and S.T. Newman*
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY, UK
(Received 3 January 2012; final version received 22 October 2012)

Today, hybrid manufacturing technology has drawn significant interests from both academia and industry due to
the capability to make products in a more efficient and productive way. Although there is no specific consensus on
the definition of the term ‘hybrid processes’, researchers have explored a number of approaches to combine different
manufacturing processes with the similar objectives of improving surface integrity, increasing material removal rate,
reducing tool wear, reducing production time and extending application areas. Thus, hybrid processes open up new
opportunities and applications for manufacturing various components which are not able to be produced
economically by processes on their own. This review paper starts with the classification of current manufacturing
processes based on processes being defined as additive, subtractive, transformative, joining and dividing. Definitions
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of hybrid processes from other researchers in the literature are then introduced. The major part of this paper reviews
existing hybrid processes reported over the past two decades. Finally, this paper attempts to propose possible
definitions of hybrid processes along with the authors’ classification, followed by discussion of their developments,
limitations and future research needs.
Keywords: CNC; process integration; process capability; hybrid manufacturing processes; transformative processes

combination of two or more manufacturing processes,


1. Introduction is becoming more and more topical for manufacturing
In today’s manufacturing industry, various manufac- researchers. The purpose of developing these hybrid
turing operations have been widely used for producing processes is to enhance their advantages whilst at the
products for many industrial sectors. These processes same time minimise their disadvantages (Karunakaran
are generally recognised as computer numerical con- et al. 2010). The combination of CNC machining and
trol (CNC) machining, additive manufacturing, trans- additive processes may provide a new substantial
formative processes such as forming, joining and solution to the limitations of additive processes (Liang
dividing operations, for example welding and sawing et al. 2002) due to the high accuracy and machining
(Kalpakjian and Schmid 2010). speed that machining processes offer. Moreover, the
However, these manufacturing processes have their combination of laser heating and forming reduces
inherent drawbacks which cannot be eliminated. In springback behaviour (Duflou et al. 2007). The
other words, due to their technological constraints, integration of ultrasonic vibration and drilling can
they are not always feasible for the production of reduce the cutting force and tool wear rate (Heisel
various components in terms of geometry, dimension et al. 2008). The involvement of laser drilling and
and strength, etc. (Tawakoli and Azarhoushang 2008, electrochemical machining (ECM) significantly re-
Kolleck et al. 2011). CNC machining can have the moves the recast layer and heat affect zone (Zhang
difficulties in machining complex shapes due to tool et al. 2009a).
accessibility. High temperature and tool wear are other The above indicates that hybrid manufacturing has
considerations while machining hard materials (Dan- huge potential for growth in terms of producing more
dekar et al. 2010). Rapid prototyping is still restricted complex parts with more flexibility and maintaining
because of long production time and low accuracy, as high accuracy in a relatively short production time.
compared to CNC machining (Suryakumar et al. Hybrid processes open new avenues of research for
2011). Limited materials’ formability and springback enhancing processes capabilities, minimising their
effect confines the development of forming processes weaknesses and extending application areas.
(Duflou et al. 2007). In addition, dimensional accuracy The aim of this paper is to classify current
is difficult to fully control in welding processes. manufacturing processes into technologies; clarify
Based on the problems mentioned above, hybrid different techniques and terms used by researchers;
manufacturing, which can be considered as the define, identify and classify hybrid manufacturing

*Corresponding author. Email: ijcim-editor@bath.ac.uk

Ó 2013 Taylor & Francis


2 Z. Zhu et al.

processes. The major part of the paper provides a (4) Transformative technology: a single workpiece
review on the various research conducted in the past is used to create another workpiece and the
two decades involving the combination of different mass does not change. Forming, heat treatment
processes in additive, subtractive, joining and trans- and also cryogenic cooling are the examples of
formative technologies, attempting to understand the transformative processes.
state of the art of hybrid processes. The final part of (5) Additive technology: material is added to an
the paper discusses these relevant topics and the existing workpiece to build a new workpiece
prospective of hybrid processes research. where the mass of the finished workpiece is
greater than before. Rapid prototyping processes,
die casting and injection moulding are the most
2. Existing manufacturing processes’ classifications widely used additive manufacturing processes.
This section initially illustrates the classifications of
manufacturing processes based on previous research-
ers’ definitions and then provides the basis for the 3. Definitions of hybrid processes in the literature
authors’ categorisation, forming the foundations of the This section briefly introduces the definitions of hybrid
review, definition and classification of hybrid manu- processes as well as other related ‘hybrid’ terms from
facturing processes in Sections 4 and 5.1. other researchers in order to provide the basic
fundamentals of hybrid processes.
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It is recognised that hybrid manufacturing/pro-


2.1. Existing manufacturing processes’ classifications cesses is a vague term. Many researchers call the
A number of researchers have previously classified manu- combination of different manufacturing processes as
facturing processes, from which, two major classifications hybrid manufacturing or hybrid processes without a
are widely adopted. The first by Swift and Booker (2003) precise definition.
classifies processes into casting, cutting, forming and Rajurkar et al. (1999) described ‘hybrid machining’
fabrication. The second by Kalpakjian and Schmid as a combination of two or more machining processes to
(2010) is more comprehensive, they classify processes remove material. This definition is still seen to be vague.
into six sub-sections with casting, machining and finish- Kozak and Rajurkar (2000) highlighted that ‘the
ing processes similar to Swift and Booker (2003), but they performance characteristics of hybrid machining pro-
have four further classes of joining, sheet metal, polymer cesses must be considerably different from those that are
processing and bulk deformation processes. characteristic for the component processes when per-
formed separately’. In detail, Aspinwall et al. (2001)
stated that the combination of machining operations can
2.2. Classification of manufacturing processes into be considered either in terms of a hybrid machining
technologies method, by which two or more machining processes are
As the traditional classifications introduced in the applied independently on a single machine, or in terms of
previous sections have some difficulties in the identi- an assisted machining approach, by which two or more
fication of newly developed manufacturing technolo- processes are utilised simultaneously. Similarly, Menzies
gies, Nassehi et al. (2011) proposed a technology-based and Koshy (2008) used ‘hybrid machining process’ to
classification method consisting of five categorises, represent the combination of two or more machining
namely joining, dividing, subtractive, transformative processes with ‘distinct mechanisms of material re-
and additive technologies. moval’. Furthermore, Curtis et al. (2009) provided a
limited definition, stating that only a method, where two
(1) Joining technology: consists of processes by or more material removal processes work simulta-
which two or more workpieces are joined to neously can be termed ‘hybrid’.
form a new workpiece. Typical examples are Alternatively, Rivette et al. (2007) adopted a
welding and assembly. prototype oriented definition to describe hybrid manu-
(2) Dividing technology: dividing processes are the facturing as, ‘the prototype is manufactured by different
opposite of joining processes, for example, processes, usually the rapid prototype process and
sawing and disassembly. conventional process’. In terms of energy consumption,
(3) Subtractive technology: subtractive/negative op- Nau et al. (2011) view hybrid processes as an approach
erations are material removal processes, by where ‘different forms of energy or forms of energy
which material is removed from a single work- caused in different ways respectively are used at the same
piece resulting in a new workpiece, such as time at the same zone of impact’. Lauwers et al. (2010)
machining operations (milling, water-jet cutting stated that ‘hybrid’ could mean ‘a combination of
and EDM, etc.). processes having a large influence on the process
International Journal of Computer Integrated Manufacturing 3

characteristics’, which means hybrid processes combine different combinations of manufacturing operations in
active principles. Typical examples are laser-assisted five manufacturing categories presented in 2.2. The
turning/milling (Dandekar et al. 2010) and laser-assisted first three headings relate to the processes only
water-jet cutting (Molian et al. 2008). Moreover, combined in their own categories with the aim of
Lauwers et al. (2010) and Klocke et al. (2011) also enhancing process capabilities, such as material
define it as ‘the combination of effects that are removal, tool wear and surface quality. The four
conventionally caused by separated processes in one subsequent headings focus on the processes that are
single process at the same time’. In addition, Lauwers incorporated between different manufacturing cate-
et al. (2010) extend the definition, presenting that gories in order to extend application areas in terms of
‘processes should be created resulting in one or more materials and part geometry.
significant process effects such as large force reductions’.
Based on that, cutting through the use of high-pressure
coolants is also identified as a hybrid process due to a 4.1. Hybrid subtractive manufacturing processes
change in the chip formation (Lauwers et al. 2010). A significant number of papers have reported the
CIRP, namely the International Academy for development of hybrid processes for integrating
Production Engineering (CIRP 2011), suggested three different machining methods as described below. These
definitions to define hybrid processes, which are: hybrid processes typically aim to achieve higher
performance, in terms of material removal rate
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(1) Integrated application or combination of dif- (MRR), surface integrity and tool wear.
ferent physical active principles, e.g. laser-
assisted machining (Dandekar et al. 2010);
(2) Integrated combination of usually separated 4.1.1. Mechanical machining and ECM
performed process steps, e.g. stretch forming A few studies have been reported on applying
and incremental sheet metal forming (Araghi electrochemical and mechanical machining (finishing
et al. 2009); processes) at the same time, in which case material is
(3) Integrated machines, so called hybrid ma- removed mainly by chemical dissolve dissolution.
chines, that can perform different processes at Komanduri et al. (1997) reviewed chemical mechanical
one place, e.g. mechanical milling and turning polishing processes and showed its effectiveness for
(She and Hung 2008). polishing of semiconductors. Lee and Jeong (2009)
conducted experiments for polishing workpieces made
In 2010, CIRP refined these definitions and from copper, in which the copper ion is dissolved
proposed an open definition and a narrow definition electrochemically in an electrolyte and followed by
(CIRP 2011): mechanical polishing on a single machine. However,
the electrolyte contamination was unavoidable. Zhu
(1) Open definition: a hybrid manufacturing pro- et al. (2011) investigated the mechanical–electrochemi-
cess combines two or more established manu- cal machining of small holes by ECM and grinding.
facturing processes into a new combined set-up Electrochemical machining is also used in the in-
whereby the advantages of each discrete pro- process machining of grinding wheels. Lim et al.
cess can be exploited synergistically; (2002a) studied the mechanisms of dressing and
(2) Narrow definition: Hybrid processes comprise grinding operations. The retrofitted grinding machine
a simultaneous acting of different (chemical, they developed consisted of a metal-bonded grinding
physical, controlled) processing principles on wheel and a dressing unit which utilises the effects of
the same processing zone. electrical discharge and electrochemical processes for
the in-process dressing of the wheel (Fathima et al.
In addition, products that have a hybrid structure or 2007).
hybrid function (e.g. metal plastic composite compo-
nents) are seen as hybrid products (Roderburg et al.
2011) or hybrid components (Holtkamp et al. 2010). 4.1.2. Mechanical machining and electric discharge
machining (EDM)
The application of mechanical and electric discharge
4. Major research areas of hybrid manufacturing machining (EDM) has enabled the exploration of
processes machining micro features in hard and brittle materials.
The authors have classified and defined the research of Aspinwall et al. (2001) combined EDM and high speed
hybrid manufacturing processes into seven investiga- milling (HSM) by mounting a graphite electrode on the
tion areas. Each of these research areas deals with spindle of the HSM centre to machine nickel-based
4 Z. Zhu et al.

alloys. An attempt has been made by Lim et al. (2002b) was employed to finish machine the parts, therefore
to machine components with microstructures by turn- significantly reducing the tool wear of the electrode.
ing and micro-EDM, where turning was used for fast
preparation of the thin tool electrode on-machine.
Kozak and Oczos (2001) replaced graphite and brass 4.1.5. Laser cutting and ECM
grinder with a metal-bonded grinding wheel in the This is a method that uses laser drilling with an
electro discharge grinding process for rough machin- electrochemical dissolution, which has been investi-
ing, where the synergistic interactive effect of the gated to improve the quality of drilled holes in terms of
combination of conventional and electro discharge recast layer, spatter and heat affected zones (Li and
grinding realised a higher material removal rate Achara 2004). A jet electrolyte was aligned coaxially
(Kozak and Oczos 2001). Similarly, Menzies and with the laser beam, where the material was removed
Koshy (2008), modified a wire-EDM process in which mainly by the laser with the recast layer and spatter
the original wire was replaced by a fixed wire with a being dramatically reduced by the effect of ECM jet
number of electrically non-conductive abrasives. simultaneously (Zhang et al. 2009a).
Therefore, the workpiece was machined by spark
erosion and moreover the abrasives abraded the
workpiece. 4.1.6. EDM and ECM
The electro chemical discharge machining (ECDM)
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process, which combines ECM and EDM on a single


4.1.3. Mechanical machining and laser cutting platform, has been studied since the 1970s (Cook et al.
As laser cutting provides high precision and zero tool 1973, Tsuchiya et al. 1985, Chikamori 1991). Electrical
wear, the resulting combination of mechanical machin- discharges between the cathodic electrode and the
ing and laser cutting dramatically reduces tool wear, anodic workpiece occurs, whilst the electrochemical
leading to increased accuracy. dissolves the workpiece (Chak and Rao 2007).
In industry, the most wide-spread application of Bhattacharyya et al. (1999) and Schopf et al. (2001)
this technology is the use of mechanical machining successfully used an ECDM process in trueing and
centres integrated with laser processing units (DMG dressing of metal-bonded diamond grinding wheels/
2011). tools.
In the academic literature, more variations of this
technology have been identified and are recognised
below. A high speed milling machine equipped with an 4.1.7. Turn-mill, mill-grind
Nd: YAG laser source has been developed by Turn-mill machine tools incorporate both a spindle for
Quintana et al. (2009), which is capable of producing milling operations and a spindle for turning opera-
micro metallic components. Li et al. (2005a) reported a tions, and have been on the market for a considerable
100% increase in MRR compared to pure laser number of years (She and Hung 2008). These types of
milling, while simultaneously applying an abrasive jet machines have led to other combinations, namely mill-
to the laser melted pool for removing the molten grind, turn-grind and turn-hone machining centres
material in situ. (MAG 2010, Mazak 2011).
Instead of using a laser simultaneously, Okasha
et al. (2010) used a sequential laser and mechanical
drill for the micro-drilling of Inconel1 718. Similarly, 4.1.8. Ultrasonic-assisted mechanical machining
Biermann and Heilmann (2011) used a laser to pre-drill Ultrasonic-assisted mechanical machining is not a new
a pilot hole, followed by single-lip deep hole mechan- hybrid process and has been known for over 50 years
ical drilling on non-planar surfaces. (Colwell 1956). It is the simultaneous application of
mechanical machining by spindle rotation, and ultra-
sonic vibration by a high frequency axial ultrasonic
4.1.4. Laser cutting and EDM oscillation of the cutting tool or the workpiece
Laser cutting and EDM research concentrates on (Markov and Neppiras 1966).
micro-machining applications for reducing production
time and eliminating the recast and heat affected zone 4.1.8.1. Ultrasonic-assisted grinding. A large pro-
caused by laser ablation. Li et al. (2006) used a portion of ultrasonic-assisted mechanical machining
sequential laser and EDM for the micro-drilling of a research lies in ultrasonic-assisted grinding aimed at
fuel injection nozzle with a diameter of 137–140 mm. achieving better surface integrity of ground surfaces.
Kim et al. (2010) applied laser cutting for rough Uhlmann and Hübert (2007) applied the superposition
machining of grooves and subsequently, micro-EDM method to combine a grinding operation with a
International Journal of Computer Integrated Manufacturing 5

secondary oscillation, by which the oscillation of the micro-holes and grooves. In the paper by Jia et al.
grinding tool was excited by piezoelectric oscillators. (1997), the mechanical signal was generated and
Whereas, in the experiments by Yanyan et al. (2009), the transmitted to the tool-electrode, which was applied
ultrasonic vibration actuator was adhered to the work- to remove material. On the other hand, Jahan et al.
piece instead of the diamond grinding tool, which led to (2010) attempted to drill micro-holes, where the
the oscillations of the workpiece. With vibration assis- tungsten carbide workpiece was being vibrated while
tance, tool wear can be reduced and Lauwers et al. (2008) the EDM process was carried out. Other studies
further developed an algorithm of tool path generation employing similar configurations have been reported
for machining of ceramic component, obtaining better by Yeo and Tan (1999), Zhao et al. (2002), Huang
surface quality. Brecher et al. (2010b) suggested a new et al. (2003), Sundaram et al. (2008) and Yu et al.
way to design vibrating components which aims to (2009) for producing high aspect ratio of micro-holes
increase MRR. From the aspect of rotary grinding, Ya on steel, stainless steel, titanium alloy and nitinol
et al. (2002) built a model for analysing MRR in workpieces, respectively.
ultrasonic-assisted rotary grinding. Li et al. (2005b)
designed a series of experiments to drill holes on ceramic
matrix composite (CMC) panels. 4.1.10. Wire-EDM and etching
A novel approach, combining wire electric discharge
4.1.8.2. Ultrasonic-assisted turning. In the turning of machining (WEDM) and anodic etching into a single
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hardened steel, Klocke et al. (2009) used a monocrystalline process for slicing/cutting of silicon ingots into wafers
diamond tool with superimposed ultrasonic linear has been developed by Wang et al. (2009 2011).
vibration to machine moulds for optical replication.
Zhong and Lin (2006) mounted an ultrasonic vibration
rig onto a CNC machine tool for the turning of aluminium- 4.2. Hybrid transformative manufacturing processes
based metal matrix composite (MMC) workpieces. This section is concerned with the processes combined
within the transformative manufacturing operations
4.1.8.3. Ultrasonic-assisted drilling. The shortcomings category such as sheet metal forming (Emmens et al.
of conventional mechanical drilling gradually emerge 2010) and laser heat treatment (Zhang et al. 2009b).
in the drilling of deep- and micro-holes in hard
materials, in particular in the aerospace industry. By
continuous frequency vibration of cutting tools during 4.2.1. Sheet metal forming processes
drilling operations, the quality of the deep micro-holes Each sheet metal forming process has its specific
can be significantly improved. Azarhoushang and application in terms of the features formed (Micari
Akbari (2007) developed a drilling tool with high et al. 2007). The combination of different forming
frequency and low amplitude ultrasonic oscillation for processes enables a part to be produced with various
the drilling of Inconel1 738-LC, which showed a features. Araghi et al. (2009) and Galdos et al. (2010)
noticeable improvement in terms of average surface first employed the stretch forming process for pre-
roughness and circularity, but, Liao et al. (2007) forming the rough shape and then an asymmetric
argued that the vibration amplitude of more than incremental sheet forming (AISF) process was carried
12 mm is likely to result in negative effects, such as out to produce the final parts.
reducing tool life. Heisel et al. (2008) and Potthast
et al. (2008) designed a piezoelectric actuator and a
piezoelectric transducer, which was used for deep hole 4.2.2. Laser heat treatment and sheet metal forming
drilling of electrolytic copper. This indicated a decrease The heat energy provided by a laser beam has been
in feed force and drilling torque when compared to gun found to be effective for changing the microstructure
drilling. Although ultrasonic assistance provides and mechanical properties of the irradiated work-
superiority, there are a number of drawbacks. For pieces, facilitating the following metal forming process.
instance, due to the higher tool tip temperature and Duflou et al. (2007) utilised a laser to heat the
variations in ultrasonic-assisted drilling, Pujana et al. underside of the sheet for increasing formability in
(2009) argued that the heat generation mechanism the single point incremental forming process (Duflou
needed further study. et al. 2008). Alternatively, Biermann et al. (2009) used
a laser beam to heat the workpiece in front of the
forming tool to assist the forming process. In addition,
4.1.9. Ultrasonic-assisted EDM Shen et al. (2006) developed a model to predict the
The combination of USM and EDM has the potential bending angle in laser-assisted incremental forming. A
to reduce tool wear and electrode deflection in EDM of deep drawing process with laser assistance has been
6 Z. Zhu et al.

investigated by Schuocker et al. (1999) and Kratky nickel iron alloy, stainless steel and copper, showing
et al. (2004). Before the drawing operation takes place, that the mixed material provided material properties
laser energy is used to selectively heat the material near intermediate to those of the constituent feed powders.
the drawing edge, which is able to reduce the drawing
force (Schuocker 2001), reduce forming steps and 4.3.2.2. Multi-material deposition. Allahverdi et al.
produce deeper features than that of conventional deep (2000) installed two additive heads on a single
drawing (Geiger et al. 2004). machine, where two materials were extruded for the
deposition of ceramic microstructures (Gasdaska et al.
1998). Jafari et al. (2000) and Safari et al. (2001)
4.3. Hybrid additive manufacturing processes further investigated this process enabling up to four
The majority of additive manufacturing processes different materials to be deposited in a single
(Bingham et al. 2007) can also be considered as layered deposition step with arbitrary geometry. A freeform
manufacturing (Levy et al. 2003) and in recent years fabrication method developed by Malone et al. (2004)
laser cladding (Onwubolu et al. 2007) and arc welding and Malone and Lipson (2006) uses two separate
deposition (Jandric et al. 2004) have received signifi- deposition tools for fabrication of 3D functional
cant attention especially for hybrid process research. assemblies with embedded conductive wiring, power
sources and actuators. Other examples of
simultaneously using multiple deposition tools are:
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4.3.1. Melting deposited material Hayes et al. (1998) investigated a micro-jet printing
In general, there are two methods for material process for polymer and solder deposition for chip-
deposition, i.e. deposit material (usually powders) scale packaging (CSP) in microelectronics
and then melt them, or directly deposit melted manufacturing; Fuller et al. (2002) employed multiple
material. In this type of hybrid additive processes, ink-jet deposition heads mounted on a computer-
powders are pre-placed on workpiece surfaces waiting controlled three-axis gantry to continuously squeeze
to be melted and bonded. Two different additive nano-particles to additively build micro
processes – one as a major heat contributor and electromechanical systems and electrical circuitry.
another one as an additional heat energy – are applied
to build the part (Qian et al. 2006), improving the
corrosion, wear resistance as well as tensile strength of 4.4. Hybrid additive and subtractive manufacturing
the workpiece. Ono et al. (2002) used a Nd:YAG laser processes
beam as the major contributor to the welding process Generally, hybrid additive and subtractive manufac-
and an arc welding electrode was located behind the turing processes’ methods use an additive process to
laser radiation point to increase the temperature, build a near-net shape which will be subsequently
whereas, Zhang et al. (2006) used a laser beam to act machined to its final shape with desired accuracy by a
as a assistant tool rather than the plasma arc. subtractive process.
Moreover, there are another two hybrid laser-arc
welding processes with similar configurations and
functions, which are (i) hybrid CO2 laser – GMAW 4.4.1. Laser cladding and mechanical machining
(MIG) process (Campana et al. 2007, Casalino 2007, Some research activities were carried out to retrofit
Bang et al. 2010) and (ii) hybrid Nd: YAG laser – traditional milling machines with a laser cladding unit,
GTAW (TIG) process (Liu et al. 2004, Song et al. which aimed to utilise the flexibility of laser cladding
2006). operations and higher surface finishes provided by
milling operations, and further reduce set-up time.
Jeng and Lin (2001) fabricated metal and alloy
4.3.2. Deposition of melted material injection moulds by conducting laser cladding and
This type of hybrid additive processes is a synergic milling operations in series. Choi et al. (2001) claimed
process able to build a part consisting of multi- that a reliable mechanical connection between layers
materials by depositing a binder/powder mixture (i.e. was formed. Liou et al. (2001) and Zhang and Liou
one extrusion head), or by means of the depositing (2004) incorporated a five-axis laser cladding unit with
different materials alternatively (i.e. multiple extrusion a five-axis milling machine, where any deposition
heads). feature can be built in the horizontal direction by
rotating the workstation. Thus, the need for support-
4.3.2.1. Mixed material deposition. Fessler et al. ing material during the deposition is eliminated,
(1997) fabricated an injection moulding tool, which further reducing build time (Ruan et al. 2005, Liou
comprised of functional gradient materials, namely et al. 2007). Hur et al. (2002) used a five-axis CNC
International Journal of Computer Integrated Manufacturing 7

machine performing drilling, milling and grinding to surfaces. In order to eliminate this drawback, Zhu
machine laser clad parts. Nowotny et al. (2010) further et al. (2006) employed abrasive polishing operations
claimed that this technology has the potential to for removing pinholes and nodules by the movement of
produce components for gas turbines due to high the spherical ceramic particles filling in the space
hardness and accuracy. between the cathode mandrel and the anode.
Moreover, some efforts have been made on process
optimisation. Mognol et al. (2006) conducted topolo-
gic and dimensional analysis, suggesting suitable 4.4.5. Injection moulding and milling
features that can be produced by laser cladding and Kelkar et al. (2005) developed a re-configurable
high speed milling. Another method used to estimate moulding process where a part surface is approximated
manufacturing complexity has been presented by using an array of discrete and movable pins so as to
Kerbrat et al. (2010). generate the part mould cavity. By re-positioning the
pins, a new mould cavity can be generated according to
the change of product design. Kelkar and Koc (2008)
4.4.2. Arc welding and mechanical machining incorporated re-configurable mould tooling and multi-
The principle of this type of hybrid process is similar to axis machining. After a part is moulded, multi-axis
laser cladding and mechanical machining, but replaces machining was conducted to improve the surface
laser cladding with arc welding. An example by Song and accuracy of the part.
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Park (2006) utilised two gas metal arc welding (GMAW)


guns for deposition of different materials, and CNC
milling to fabricate injection mould inserts. Karunakar- 4.5. Hybrid joining and subtractive manufacturing
an et al. (2004), and Suryakumar et al. (2011) used face processes
milling to machine each slice built by metal inert gas This section reports on the platforms capable of
(MIG) and metal active gas (MAG) welding. However, performing joining and milling operations in series.
Karunakaran et al. (2008) argued that face milling of Taylor et al. (2001) developed a method which
each layer is the major barrier for reducing production combines CNC milling and solvent welding technol-
time. Furthermore, Karunakaran et al. (2009) pointed ogy, by which a number of the solvent weldable
out that the tools fabricated by this hybrid process might thermoplastic sheets were welded and machined in
be inferior to their conventional counterparts in sequence. By contrast, Kuo et al. (2002) developed a
composition and tool life. Xiong et al. (2009) studied single platform, which combines a micro-EDM me-
the mechanism of plasma arc deposition and integrated chanism for the micromachining of the metallic parts
the plasma torch on a milling machine. and Nd:YAG laser welding performing the micro-
assembly of parts machined. However, Kuo et al.
(2003) revealed that the cumulative errors were likely
4.4.3. Shape deposition manufacturing (SDM) and to increase during the entire hybrid process.
mechanical machining
Shape deposition manufacturing has been synonymous
with Stanford University from the first development 4.6. Hybrid additive and transformative manufacturing
introduced by Merz (1994) and their continuous work processes
(Pinilla and Prinz 2003, Dollar and Howe 2006). Shape A small amount of research focuses on the investiga-
deposition manufacturing deposits melted material tion of effectively applying additive and transformative
from a container and the material solidifies as soon as processes together. Lucchetta and Baesso (2007) tested
it is deposited. Cooper et al. (1999) applied SDM to drop the feasibility of performing injection moulding and
wax beads for building the rough shape of the parts, then sheet metal forming processes. A sheet metal was
curing them and finally shaping to the final dimensions inserted between the open halves of a mould, and was
by milling. Lanzetta and Cutkosky (2008) utilised the bent to form the desired shape while closing the mould
combination of SDM and milling to build smooth and cavity. The molten polymer material was subsequently
sculpted 3D contours of dry adhesives which could be injected into the remaining cavity with adhesion taking
used to aid human and robotic climbing. place between the metal and the polymer (Baesso and
Lucchetta 2007, Bariani et al. 2007). Yasa et al. (2011)
used selective laser melting (SLM) to build 2D layers
4.4.4. Electroforming and polishing and after building each layer, the same laser source was
Electroforming is a variation of the electroplating applied to heat the solidified layer as a laser erosion
process, but with moderate surface quality due to the process, showing significant improvement in surface
presence of pinholes and nodules on the coating quality in comparison to individual SLM.
8 Z. Zhu et al.

that a better understanding of heat energy


4.7. Hybrid subtractive and transformative generation during the operations is able to
manufacturing processes provide optimisation methods for the hybrid
In this category, most of the transformative processes, process mechanisms. Therefore, Pfefferkorn
e.g. laser heating, are used as an assistant tool to provide et al. (2005) modelled the heat distribution in
better machining conditions for mechanical machining. laser-assisted turning, illustrating that the
The sub-sections below summarise the studies into temperature is mainly affected by laser power
each kind of combinations and their applications. and feedrate. Tian and Shin (2006) also built a
transient thermal model for predicting heat
transfer during laser-assisted turning of silicon
4.7.1. Thermally enhanced mechanical machining nitride workpieces.
Thermally enhanced mechanical machining applies (2) Laser-assisted milling. Laser-assisted milling
external heat sources to heat the workpiece locally in normally has two configurations, where a laser
front of the cutting tool. With the effect of heating, the beam is located next to a milling tool or
workpiece is softened along with a change in the integrated on a tool spindle (Sun et al. 2010).
microstructure, facilitating the conventional machining Recently, the trend has been towards micro-
process in terms of hardness reduction, cutting forces machining, where Melkote et al. (2009) inves-
and tool wear (Ding and Shin 2010). The external heat tigated the micro-milling process and a laser for
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sources that are most frequently used are plasma grooving a hardened A2 tool steel. Brecher
(Novak et al. 1997) and laser beam (Pfefferkorn et al. et al. (2010a) employed a similar configuration
2004, Anderson et al. 2006). for the dry machining of Ti- and Ni-based
alloys. Singh and Melkote (2007) applied an
4.7.1.1. Laser-assisted mechanical machining. Laser- ytterbium fibre laser to assist micro-scale
assisted mechanical machining (LAMM) has been grooving of H-13 mould steel and reported
developed and investigated for over 20 years (Rozzi the accuracy improvement of the groove depth.
et al. 2000, Lei et al. 2001). Recently, LAMM has been (3) Laser-assisted grinding. Kumar et al. (2011) used
considered as an alternative process for machining of a laser to scan the surface of the silicon nitride
high-strength materials, such as ceramics, metal matrix ceramic workpiece followed by a grinding tool to
composites, high-temperature alloys (Rebro et al. remove the laser affected area. The experimental
2002, Tian et al. 2008, Bejjani et al. 2011). results indicated that the grinding forces were
reduced and the tool life was increased as
(1) Laser-assisted turning. Laser-assisted turning is compared to the individual grinding process.
considered to be the most favourable laser
integration process. This is because the cutting 4.7.1.2. Plasma enhanced mechanical machining. An
tool keeps stationary during the machining approach called plasma enhanced machining, e.g.
operation. As a result, it is relatively easy to turning and milling has been developed in which the
incorporate the laser beam within the conven- plasma jet is primarily used for heating and softening
tional turning machine (Sun et al. 2010). Sun the workpiece locally to make turning or milling easier
et al. (2010) provided a comprehensive review, than traditional turning or milling (Leshock et al.
summarising various laser-assisted machining 2001). Wang et al. (2003) introduced the application of
processes and identified the available materials plasma heating in the turning of Inconel1 718
and surface integrity in these processes. For material. de Lacalle et al. (2004) used plasma gas and
further increases in the capability of LAMM an electrode to generate a plasma beam in the front of
and reductions in tool wear, the researchers a milling cutter to machine superalloys.
came up with two improvement strategies: (1)
Dumitrescu et al. (2006) attempted to use a
high power diode laser instead of a convention- 4.7.2. Laser-assisted water-jet cutting
ally employed CO2 or Nd:YAG laser, suggest- A laser beam, again, acts as an assistant tool to pre-
ing that higher machining efficiency and better heat the workpiece followed by a water jet functioning
metal absorption can be expected. (2) Anderson as a material removal process. Molian et al. (2008) and
and Shin (2006) proposed a new configuration Kalyanasundaram et al. (2008) conducted an experi-
in which two laser beams were simultaneously ment, where a CO2 laser heated a small zone on the
applied to irradiate the machined chamfer and ceramic workpiece for creating a temperature gradient.
unmachined surface next to the machined Then the pure water-jet trailed the path of the laser
chamfer, respectively. Researchers also realised beam on the workpiece leading to thermal shock
International Journal of Computer Integrated Manufacturing 9

fracture in this zone. Barnes et al. (2007) explained that increases the tool life in successive cuts (Wang et al.
the increase of cutting efficiency was due to the kinetic 1996).
energy of the water jet that removes the material and
washes debris away. Based on the previous research, (1) Turning. Hong and Ding (2001) introduced an
Kalyanasundaram et al. (2010) established and then economical cryogenic cooling system where the
validated a model which was used for the deter- liquid nitrogen is directly jetted at the tip of the
mination of transient temperature and stress cutting tool. By the cooling effect of LN2, the
distribution. crater and flank wear are reduced along with
the temperate reduction of the tip of the cutter
(Hong et al. 2001). Wang and Rajurkar (2000)
4.7.3. Laser-assisted ECM experimentally validated that the surface finish
Unlike laser drilling with chemical dissolution by of the machined titanium and Inconel1 alloy
Zhang et al. (2009a), the use of a laser beam in laser- parts with cryogenic cooling was much superior
assisted ECM, is just for heating the material, which than that of conventional machining. In addi-
helps and accelerates electrochemical reaction. In the tion, Venugopal et al. (2003) developed two
experiment by Pajak et al. (2006) and De Silva et al. liquid nitrogen jets in one system for cooling
(2011), a laser beam was coaxially aligned with an the rake surface and principal flank, tool nose
electrolyte jet creating a non-contact tool-electrode, in and auxiliary flank, respectively.
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which case the dissolution in the localised zone was (2) Milling. Rahman et al. (2003) employed two
intensified (Kozak and Oczos 2001). Consequently, the nozzles constantly supplying chilled air
material removal rate increased and furthermore, the of 7308C to the workpiece and the cutting
localisation enhanced machining accuracy by reducing tool on a CNC milling machine, separately.
stray machining action (De Silva et al. 2004). Goujon et al. (2001) also conducted a series of
experiments on cryogenic milling of Al alloy/
AlN powders at 71968C produced by LN2,
4.7.4. Laser-assisted shearing suggesting that some chemical reactions, e.g.
Laser-assisted shearing has been developed by Brecher oxidation and nitridation need to be studied.
and Emonts (2010), where the laser beam was applied (3) Grinding. There are quite a few research papers
to the underside of the shearing zone on the sheet reporting on cryogenic grinding (Dhokia 2009).
metal plate before the cutting stamp punched the top This may be partly because, originally, coolant
side of the metal plate. A significant reduction in is not often used in conventional grinding. In
cutting forces and edge warping were achieved and the research by Ben Fredj et al. (2006), it was
punch-sheared edges with continuous clear-cut sur- demonstrated that cryogenic cooling was able
faces were observed. to improve surface integrity. Nguyen et al.
(2007) installed a nozzle on the wheel guard
providing steady LN2 jet to the grinding point.
4.7.5. Cryogenic machining
Cryogenic machining methods apply a cryogen, 4.7.5.2. Cryogenic machining of soft materials. Shih
primarily liquid nitrogen rather than oil coolant, to et al. (2004) used solid carbon dioxide as a cryogen
cool either a cutting tool or a workpiece to a very low to cool the elastomer workpiece during the
temperature, e.g. 7 1978C (Yildiz and Nalbant 2008). machining operation. The elastomer was cooled to
The majority of cryogenic machining research can be approximately 778.68C at which it transformed to a
split into two areas, i.e. cooling of cutting tools and brittle phase. Dhokia et al. (2011) developed a novel
cooling of workpieces. cryogenic CNC machining method, which sprays
LN2 onto the workpiece (i.e. soft elastomer) for
4.7.5.1. Cryogenic machining of hard metal materials. rapidly reducing the material to its glass transition
Traditionally, machining of hard materials especially temperature (Crabtree et al. 2009). This increases
ceramics and superalloys is considered to be difficult the stiffness of the workpiece and makes it possible to
due to high tool wear rate, partially resulting from the be machined by conventional CNC machining methods.
extreme high temperatures in the shear zone (Krain
et al. 2007, Zhang et al. 2010). Most of the papers 4.7.6. Thermally and cryogenically machining
focus on the development of a spray-jet system which
sprays liquid nitrogen (LN2) directly to the cutting 4.7.6.1. Laser-assisted and cryogenic machining.
zone to decrease the tool temperature, which in turn Dandekar et al. (2010) utilised a CO2 laser to alter
reduces the temperature dependent tool wear and workpiece material properties and CNC turning tools
10 Z. Zhu et al.

to machine titanium alloys combined with liquid 4.7.10. Turning and rolling
nitrogen to cool the cutting tools at the same time. Hybrid machines which are able to perform turning
and cold rolling operations have been reported (Axinte
4.7.6.2. Plasma enhanced and cryogenic machining. and Gindy 2004, MAG 2010). A cold rolling unit is
Based on plasma enhanced machining, Wang et al. integrated on a turning machine, enabling the gears to
(2003) designed a cooling chamber which supplied be turned and rolled in series, indicating the potential
liquid nitrogen for cooling the cutter during the plasma to reduce production cost and time.
enhanced turning of Inconel1 718.

5. Discussion and future hybrid processes’ research


4.7.7. High-pressure cooling-assisted mechanical directions
machining The authors have classified a range of hybrid
High-pressure cooling (HPC) has been recently processes, referred in this paper, into seven major
found to be an effective way to improve machining areas. In addition, the authors have developed their
conditions in terms of cutting force, chip formation own classification, which is used in the following sub-
and tool life. The coolant of 11 Mpa was applied in sections to define the term ‘hybrid processes’, and to
the drilling and turning of Ti6Al4V and Inconel1 discuss the various researches and suggest possible
718 by de Lacalle et al. (2000). Sanz et al. (2007) and future research trends.
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Kramar et al. (2010) compared the experimental


results of turning titanium alloys with and without
HPC, claiming that HPC could provide longer tool 5.1. Definition of hybrid processes
life, lower cutting forces and increased chip break- The authors’ classification of hybrid processes is shown
ability. In addition, Nandy et al. (2009) argued that in Figure 1. This consists of four hybrid and three sub-
using water-soluble oil coolant, instead of neat oil hybrid types. From the authors’ viewpoint, the term
coolant, is beneficial in terms of improving cutting ‘hybrid processes’ is defined as an approach that
tool life. On the other hand, Ezugwu et al. (2005) combines two or more manufacturing operations, each
studied the effects of using different cooling pressure of which is from different manufacturing technologies,
and suggested that higher cooling pressure does not as mentioned in Section 2.2, and has interactions with
always lead to higher tool life. Sorby and Tonnessen and influences on each other. This can be achieved
(2006) revealed that high-pressure rake face cooling from the processes being carried out simultaneously or
is likely to result in adverse effects for other parts of in a serial manner on a single platform.
the workpiece surface. In order to clarify confusion, the following state-
ments are made:

4.7.8. Grinding and hardening (1) As hybrid manufacturing is mainly concerned


Brinksmeier and Brockhoff (1996) proposed a con- with the combinations of different manufactur-
cept of the grind-hardening process, where the ing technologies, if all of the constituent
grinding wheel acts as a movable and moving heat processes are from the same manufacturing
source, by which the temperature of the workpiece technology, this type of combination is defined
surface was raised above that of austenitisation. as sub-hybrid process.
Along with the following self-quenching by heat (2) Constituent processes should have interactions
dissipation and/or by using coolant, martensitic or influences between each other. Examples are:
phase transformation takes place (Salonitis and in laser-assisted turning (Sun et al. 2010), the
Chryssolouris 2007). Salonitis et al. (2008) further laser beam softens the material, which gener-
claimed that grind-hardened cylindrical parts have ates the influence that makes the turning easier
high hardness. and faster. In laser cladding and milling (Zhang
and Liou 2004), the milling machine removes
material from the near-net shape produced by
4.7.9. Milling and forming laser cladding; on the other hand, the new
In deformation machining, as identified by Smith et al. layers are deposited on the smooth surface
(2007), thin features are machined to the desired machined by the milling operations, which
accuracy by milling. Forming operations are then reduces the stair effects in the laser cladding
carried out to create deformations of the thin sections process. This indicates that the laser cladding
by bending or stretching the features to finally form the operations have the influence on the following
designed shapes. milling operations. The dimensions of the
International Journal of Computer Integrated Manufacturing 11

Figure 1 Classification of major hybrid processes’ research areas (corresponding section numbers are in brackets).
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milled part also affect the next step of the laser


cladding process.
(3) Constituent processes should directly act on the
workpiece being manufactured.

Based on the above description, magnetic field-


assisted finishing (Riveros et al. 2009, Yamaguchi et al.
2010) is not considered as a hybrid process. This
method uses the alternating magnetic field to drive the
magnetic fluid which contains abrasive slurry, to flush
mirror chips in the micro-pore X-ray mirror fabrica-
tion process (Yamaguchi et al. 2011). However, the
Figure 2 Distribution of the collected hybrid research
magnetic field actually drives the fluid but the field papers.
does not directly work on the workpiece. Similarly,
using robot(s) to hold milling cutter(s) in the machin-
ing operations (Chen and Song 2001, Yang et al. 2002) machining or EDM showed higher machining effi-
is not considered as a hybrid process. In addition, ciency than that of the individual mechanical machin-
water-jet guided laser cutting (Li et al. 2003, Kray et al. ing, USM and EDM. Similarly, the integration of laser
2007), where the water-jet guides the laser beam before cutting and EDM (Li et al. 2006) is able to drill micro-
the beam reaches the workpiece surface, is not holes with lower tool wear and better surface quality.
categorised as a hybrid process, as the jet itself does Those advantages are gained by the processes carried
not change the microstructure of the workpiece or out simultaneously (e.g. laser cutting and ECM [Zhang
remove the material. et al. 2009a]) or in series (e.g. sequential laser drilling
and mechanical drilling [Biermann and Heilmann
2011]). It is noted that hybrid subtractive processes
5.2. Hybrid subtractive manufacturing processes are applied in not only the conventional machining
Hybrid subtractive manufacturing processes normally scenarios, but also in other application areas, e.g.
involve thermal, chemical, electrochemical and me- micromachining (Lim et al. 2002b) and in the
chanical interactions (Molian et al. 2008). As shown in production of semiconductors in the photovoltaic
Figure 2, the vast majority of research activities have industry (Wang et al. 2008).
focused on the combinations of subtractive processes, Although encouraging results have been shown,
which have been gradually used to meet the challenges some issues still need to be solved. In the ultrasonic-
in the reduction of tool wear and production time and assisted machining processes, high frequency and
the increase of machining effectiveness with tight amplitude vibration mechanisms are likely to deterio-
tolerances and high levels of surface finish. The rate the surface quality and the dimensional accuracy
implementation of ultrasonic-assisted mechanical of the machined parts (Jahan et al. 2010), and the
12 Z. Zhu et al.

machining energy only decreased 10%. In addition, reduced production time and more importantly in-
with its high precision, laser processing has the creased welding stability (Ono et al. 2002). It was also
potential to be incorporated in wider application areas. noted that the change of additional energy input
Thus, more research effort will continue to be made in remarkably influenced the precision of the layer
ultrasonic- and laser-related processes. deposition (Qian et al. 2010). Hence, the investigation
of appropriate energy input will receive research
attention to some extent. Moreover, it is necessary to
5.3. Hybrid transformative, additive and point out that hybrid additive processes, based on
transformative, subtractive and joining manufacturing additive manufacturing techniques, also have inherited
processes their drawbacks, which are slower production times in
There is little research work reported on each of these mass production, moderate surface finish and rela-
three categories. As for hybrid transformative pro- tively high cost compared to CNC machined parts.
cesses, two types of sheet metal forming processes were Thus, these issues hinder a broader application of this
used in series, which improved the accuracy and technology. The improvement in surface roughness
decreased the forming steps. The layout with laser and the reduction of production cost will continue to
heat treatment and forming tools is another popular be a major area of further development.
machine configuration as a laser beam is able to soften
material, increasing formability of the material at
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higher temperature as well as reducing springback 5.5. Hybrid additive and subtractive manufacturing
effects (Duflou et al. 2007). There is a possible research processes
trend that integrates a laser unit inside a forming tool, This review has identified that the research relating to
which has the potential to effectively utilise the laser hybrid processes combining an additive process and a
beam in the forming processes where the working subtractive process concentrates on the increase in
spaces are enclosed, e.g. deep drawing. manufacturing flexibility with no detrimental effect on
The development of hybrid additive and transfor- surface finish (Choi et al. 2001). Two deposition
mative process is still in an initial stage. Yasa and methods are mainly utilised, i.e. laser cladding and
Kruth (2008) identified that, in the laser melting and arc welding to build the near-net shapes directly from
erosion, longer processing times led to lower produc- CAD models. Meanwhile, a machining process is
tivity, which restricts its further development. Luc- implemented to ensure accuracy and eliminate the
chetta and Baesso (2007) used a mould to perform the stair effects after certain layers have been deposited.
sheet metal forming and injection moulding of sheet Finally, the near-net shapes are finish machined to
metal-polymer composites, providing a new method to their desired surface finish.
produce multi-material components. However, the On the other hand, this hybrid technology is
feasibility of using the injection mould as a forming currently only suitable for small batch production of
tool needs to be further validated. customised products rather than for mass production.
With regards to hybrid subtractive and joining The review has revealed the main application is in the
processes, the machining operations enhance the production of injection moulds and dies. Other applic-
capability of the welding processes by providing a able products are limited and it should be noted that the
high level of surface finish. However, the cumulative fabricated tools may be inferior to their counterparts
errors are likely to increase during the whole operation produced by conventional machining in terms of tensile
(Kuo et al. 2003). strength and tool life (Akula and Karunakaran 2006). In
addition, the limited range of materials that can be used
for additive processes partly contributes to the limited
5.4. Hybrid additive manufacturing processes hybrid additive and subtractive processes’ application
Researchers who aim to fabricate functional parts areas. It is expected that future research will pay
comprised of multi-materials, apply a hybrid additive attention towards exploring broader application areas,
approach, which is able to deposit various materials possibly gradually moving towards metallic parts to
alternatively by the mounted additive heads. Another other hard materials alongside for the development in
building approach is the mix of different material rapid prototyping technology.
powders by a user-defined ratio. As a result, the
manufactured parts have new properties intermediate
to their constituent materials. In addition, researchers 5.6. Hybrid subtractive and transformative
also employed an additional heat source to provide manufacturing processes (HSTMP)
higher energy in the laser cladding or the arc welding Thermally enhanced machining and other laser-
process, which accelerated the deposition speed, assisted machining processes, e.g. water-jet, have
International Journal of Computer Integrated Manufacturing 13

generated significant research interest. In these pro- academia and industry. The reasons why hybrid
cesses, only one of the participating processes directly manufacturing processes are needed can be briefly
removes the material. The other one assists in the summarised in two aspects: (1) conventional manu-
material removal operations by changing the machin- facturing processes which have advantages and dis-
ing conditions which is beneficial to the cutting process advantages; (2) some of the products that need to be
(Molian et al. 2008). The review has identified that the made these days can no longer be manufactured by
research in this category mainly focuses on the using individual conventional manufacturing processes
machining of hard-to-machine materials, e.g. ceramics, or in other words, it is more reasonable to manufacture
composites and superalloys. The experiments by those products by using hybrid processes in terms of
Pfefferkorn et al. (2004) and Dandekar et al. (2010) process capability, production time and costs. Some
reported that the cutting tool life can be prolonged up typical and representative examples are outlined
to three times and the material removal rate can be below.
effectively increased.
However, notwithstanding the tremendous advan- . Conventional deep micro-hole mechanical dril-
tages, HSTMP does not increase the flexibility of the ling of Inconel1 718 is a time-consuming
original machining process. In other words, if a part process. A noticeable improvement in terms of
cannot be machined by conventional CNC machining circularity was observed, and 50% increase of
processes due to tool inaccessibility, HSTMP is not MRR was reported while using the hybrid
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able to manufacture it likewise. In addition, further process combing mechanical drilling with laser
efforts should be made for developing thermally and ultrasonic vibration, respectively (Okasha
enhanced machining with the capability of machining et al. 2010, Liao et al. 2007).
ductile materials (Sun et al. 2010). Some researchers . On the other hand, recast layer and spatter
have been working on the effects of a laser beam input cannot be completely eliminated if an individual
angle and heated area, and has initially identified that laser-drilling process is used. The combination of
these two factors influence the machining efficiency. laser drilling and ECM provides a solution to
There is a possibility that future research will focus on dramatically reduce recast layer (Zhang et al.
these issues. Moreover, for a better understanding of 2009a).
HSTMP mechanisms, modelling of heat transfer is . In order to increase tool life, reduce cutting
another potential major research topic. forces as well as obtain better surface finish in
Recently, cryogenic machining has drawn attention mechanical milling, turning and grinding of hard
as both hard and soft materials can be machined under materials (e.g. ceramics, H-13 mould steel, Ti-
good machining conditions such as lower forces and and Ni-based alloys and Inconel1 718), the
temperature. Through the cooling of the cutting tool concepts of ultrasonic-assisted machining and
by liquid nitrogen, tool degradation can be reduced thermally enhanced mechanical machining have
significantly and thus cryogenic machining can in- been proposed (Brecher et al. 2010b, Sun et al.
crease tool life (Shokrani et al. 2012). The improved 2010).
surface finish, increased length of cut and reduced . Electric discharge machining process has been
cutting force has also been reported. widely used in the machining of tungsten carbide
In summary, cryogenic machining is under inves- and stainless steels, but electrode deflection
tigation and the majority of research focuses on restricts its further development. Ultrasonic-
turning of hard material but less attention is paid to assisted EDM is capable of machining those
milling and grinding operations which are also hard materials with reduced electrode deflection
significant in the contemporary CNC manufacturing effect (Jahan et al. 2010).
industry. There is also a lack of knowledge in the . Long production time is always the major
machining of soft materials with the exception of concern in forming processes. Laser-assisted
Dhokia et al. (2010). These issues need to be further sheet metal forming has shown the advantages
researched. With respect to high-pressure cooling, in improving material formability and more
research is likely to concentrate on the reduction in importantly, reducing forming steps (Duflou
the high cost of coolant systems and the reduction of et al. 2007), which results in reduced production
set-up times. time.
. Making mould inserts is not an economical
process for low volume production, but now
5.7. The importance of hybrid manufacturing research the costs can be significantly reduced by combin-
As discussed above, the research of hybrid manufac- ing laser cladding and CNC machining (Jeng and
turing has gained significant attention both in Lin 2001). The manufacture of components for
14 Z. Zhu et al.

gas turbines is another potential application area broader application fields. There is a major need to
of this hybrid process (Nowotny et al. 2010). establish the relationships between constituent pro-
Furthermore, biomimetic robotics with em- cesses and their respective control systems. This will
bedded sensors and circuits can also be produced largely determine the development of hybrid processes
(Dollar et al. 2006), which was previously in the future. In addition, breakthroughs in individual
impossible without further assembly operations. processes can promote an advance in hybrid processes’
. Recently, a low-cost process namely, cryogenic developments. The authors believe that for hybrid
CNC machining, for the production of persona- manufacturing processes to be fully realised, a number
lised shoe insoles has been developed (Dhokia of future research advances, need to be addressed,
et al. 2008), replacing injection moulding pro- namely (i) integration with other processes; (ii) need
cesses in the production cycle. This hybrid for new process-planning methods (Xu et al. 2011); (iii)
process has the potential to be widely used in modelling representations of hybrid process capabil-
low volume and personalised soft material ities (Nassehi et al. 2011); and (iv) additional stan-
product manufacture. dards.

6. Conclusions
References
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