Science and Technology of Flexible Manufacturing Processes

Jian Cao

Professor and Associate VP for Research at Northwestern University

Learning Objectives

A central feature of the emergence of new manufacturing and business paradigms is based on the integration of cyber and physical systems. To enable the versatility of manufacturing processes and to fully integrate design and manufacturing for system optimization, at Northwestern, research efforts are rooted in discovering new processes and in enhancing the predictability of manufacturing processes using the ICME (integrated computational materials engineering) approach. This talk will provide an overview about those activities and then focus on selective processes and their fundamentals, specifically, the rapid dieless double-sided incremental forming and metal-based powder-blown additive manufacturing.


Key Takeaways:



  • Manufacturing is an integration platform

  • The coexistence of physics-based modeling and data-driven modeling can shorten the development cycle

  • Process flexibility provides business flexibility