Companies have to propose flexibility and interoperability in addition to robustness and efficiency to meet today demand of high customized products. The rise of high level object-oriented data models such as ISO 14649 — know as STEP-NC — enables manufacturing engineers to meet these requirements. In parallel, new manufacturing processes are now available. Theses processes, such as incremental sheet forming or cladding, are mature enough to be used in the industry. In addition to that, they are CNC controlled. They can be totally integrated into manufacturing data chains. It is consequently possible to use several processes on the same part and develop multi-process manufacturing approaches. Their success lies mainly upon the ability to select the best process with the best parameterization. The use of intelligent manufacturing systems is of great help to achieve this goal.
The objective of this paper is to propose an intelligent manufacturing environment for multi-process manufacturing. Simulation and optimization approaches, advanced CNC programming methods are implemented in a coordinate way. Current CAD/CAM/CNC data chains limitations are overtaken by using STEP-NC. Finally, a practical implementation of such system is introduced. This experimental platform enables multi-process manufacturing with the industrial manufacturing equipment of the laboratory.