Dynamic Analysis and Simulation of Machinery

Research goals


Performances and efficiency for the machines of the future

The DASM group develops multidisciplinary numerical models and experimental methodologies to support innovative machinery design, aiming at tracking accuracy, dynamic performances and energy efficiency.

The growing global market demands a great variety of products in continuous evolution, characterized by an increasing level of quality and complexity. This requires machines that can provide great accuracy at high speed, able to support the operator in selecting optimal management strategies, coping with varying operating conditions. Moreover, a growing awareness of the limited availability of natural resources and the need to limit global pollution have driven all countries, and Europe in particular, to develop and adopt production systems of systematically optimized energetic efficiency. To reach those ambitious targets already with the first prototype, more and more sophisticated design tools and methodologies are offered to the designer.
DASM's mission is to develop methodologies and software tools that support the development and testing of high performance machinery. Traditionally devoted to the machine tool sector, DASM analyzes both high speed machines, focusing on structure-control interaction, and high power machines, where the material removal capability, linked to the interaction between machine and cutting process, plays a major role.

Research activities

The holistic analysis of machine performance, using integrated multi-disciplinary virtual prototyping, extends at machine level the concept of Digital Factory, providing the means to reduce the risk by anticipating design criticalities. This requires a thorough understanding of the complex interaction of the mechanical structure, the motion control system and the machining process. Specific experimental testing procedures have been developed to evaluate physical prototypes, update the numerical models and pinpoint production quality issues. The full characterization of the machine dynamics allows the development of customized machines, tailored to and optimized for specific applications and production objectives, ranging from large machines for the aerospace sector to small machines designed for micro-operations.

Advanced architectures

The complexity of parallel kinematic machines
challenges even the most experienced designer.
Customized SW packages allow a rapid and
complete analysis of PK mechanisms,
starting from the conceptual phase and
the selection of the machine architecture.

To increase the added value, derived from multi-disciplinary integration, research is performed to further enhance the accuracy of the numerical models that constitute the virtual prototype:

  • development of advanced modelling strategies in Finite Element and Multi-Body environments; mechanism analysis, with a particular focus on parallel kinematic structures and their volumetric calibration; self-locking in closed loop mechanisms;
  • machining process modelling in dynamic conditions: milling, turning and grinding processes.

Exploiting the knowledge of machine-process interaction, DASM is now working on the development of process monitoring and control systems for an autonomous optimization of the machining process. The integrated numerical models have been employed to analyse a feed forward strategy for the compensation of inertial structural deformations due to machine acceleration.
Another line of research is assigned to energetic efficiency with reference in particular to:

  • experimental energetic characterization of existing machinery, to indentify the entity and source of the main energy losses (the group contributes to the ISO normative working group 14955 "Environmental evaluation of machine tools");
  • analysis of the Best Available Technologies, in collaboration with key component suppliers, to increase the overall energetic efficiency while preserving an adequate economic return.

Both activities are based on the development of energetic digital models of the machine, capable of estimating the power flows in a specific working scenario. These models consider the energy dispersed by the spindle and the cutting process, in the machine drives, in the guide ways and kinematic chains and in the main auxiliaries, like the hydraulic supply units and the chillers.

Main research projects

Development of a methodology and related ICT tools to model, simulate, analyze and optimize energy flows and losses throughout the whole machinery, EU, FP7-ICT (2010-2012)
ENergy Efficient Process pLANning system, cleaner and more resource-efficient production in manufacturing, EU, FP7-NMP (2011-2014)
Incremento del livello di automazione, autodiagnosi, precisione e integrazione funzionale delle macchine utensili italiane mediante sistemi cognitivi artificiali che realizzano processi di percezione-decisione, Ministero per lo Sviluppo Economico (2010-2013)

Design no-limits

Years of experience in the machine tool sector have led to the deployment of numerical and experimental techniques to support the industrial development of high performance machines: libraries of models and analysis procedures in a Finite Element package; a custom-made simulation environment that integrates the machine with the cutting process and the control system.

key words

Machine Tools; Mechatronics; Cutting Process; Energy Efficiency; Virtual Prototyping.

Giacomo Bianchi


Eng. Ph.D. Giacomo Bianchi - Milano
DASM Group responsible
giacomo.bianchi [at]
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