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Special Issue Article

Proc IMechE Part B:

J Engineering Manufacture
Near net shape manufacturing of Ó IMechE 2017
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metal: A review of approaches and
DOI: 10.1177/0954405417708220

their evolutions

Daniele Marini, David Cunningham and Jonathon R Corney

In the last 30 years, the concept of manufacturability has been applied to many different processes in numerous indus-
tries. This has resulted in the emergence of several different ‘‘Design for Manufacturing’’ methodologies which have in
common the aim of reducing productions costs through the application of general manufacturing rules. Near net shape
technologies have expanded these concepts, targeting mainly primary shaping process, such as casting and forging. The
desired outcomes of manufacturability analysis for near net shape processes are cost and lead/time reduction through
minimization of process steps (in particular cutting and finishing operations) and raw material saving. Product quality
improvement, variability reduction and component design functionality enhancement are also achievable through near
net shape optimization. Process parameters, product design and material selection are the changing variables in a manu-
facturing chain that interact in complex, non-linear ways. Consequently, modeling and simulation play important roles in
the investigation of alternative approaches. However, defining the manufacturing capability of different processes is also a
‘‘moving target’’ because the various near net shape technologies are constantly improving and evolving so there is chal-
lenge in accurately reflecting their requirements and capabilities. In the last decade, for example, computer-aided design,
computer numerical control technologies and innovation in materials have impacted enormously on the development of
near net shape technologies. This article reviews the different methods reported for near net shape manufacturability
assessment and examines how they can make an impact on cost, quality and process variability in the context of a spe-
cific production volume. The discussion identifies a lack of structured approaches, poor connection with process optimi-
zation methodologies and a lack of empirical models as gaps in the reported approaches.

Near net shape, manufacturing review, forming, casting, additive layer manufacturing

Date received: 2 February 2016; accepted: 10 April 2017

Introduction has led to the emergence of a generic class of manufactur-

ing technologies known as near net shape (NNS) that can
Manufacturing industry is constantly challenged to be the key to lean and green enterprises.
evolve in response to changing markets and social Essential NNS processes aim to create semi-finished
needs. Although for many years the reduction of costs products that are as close as possible to the desired
was the only goal, the growing demand for lower final geometry and technological characteristics (e.g.
impacts on the environment has also started to drive surface finish, hardness). Thus, the objective of NNS is
manufacturing to improve processes in terms of their the elimination, or reduction, of finishing steps (e.g.
sustainability and waste. Consequently, the social machining operations, heat treatments) and the
(rather than economic) demand for the efficient use of
resources is emerging as a business opportunity where
highly efficient operations in terms of energy and mate- Department of Design, Manufacture & Engineering Management (DMEM),
rials will also meet regulations and enable access to University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK
high value markets.
Given this context changing manufacturing methods Corresponding author:
Daniele Marini, Department of Design, Manufacture & Engineering
is frequently a necessity rather than simply an opportu- Management (DMEM), University of Strathclyde, 75 Montrose Street,
nity to improve profits. The continuous investigation of Glasgow G1 1XQ, UK.
cost reduction and production improvement technologies Email:
2 Proc IMechE Part B: J Engineering Manufacture 00(0)

minimization of raw material usage (e.g. reductions in 3. The re-design of a part for a new manufacturing
scrap and wastage). NNS technologies can be seen as process.
a component of a lean manufacturing approach
where variations in the overall manufacturing pro- However, importantly, the authors assert that all
cess, part design and material choices are driven by these scenarios can be interpreted as ‘‘requiring a pro-
the desire to reduce waste. Indeed, a virtuous circle of cess which will start with an initial representation of
impacts can result from reductions in material waste, the design and then transform it, if necessary, into
for example: another part which meets all of the functional require-
ments and can also be produced.’’7 This insight is fun-
 Reduction of machining steps or the merging of dament to all NNS methodologies reported in the
several individual components in a single part can literature surveyed by this paper surveys. The resulting
result in a shorter process chains that both lower summary charts the evolution of NNS concepts across
variability and, consequently, increased quality. the last 25 years. The overall objective is to define
 Reductions in fabrication and assembly operations streams, or patterns, in the research and identify the
reduce the opportunity for errors and so results in principal and most effective approaches to the investi-
lower scrappage rates. gation of NNS processes.

In other words, it is clear to any manufacturing engi-

Scoping the literature review
neer that the reduction of lead-times and waste through
appropriate technologies produce many collateral Table 1 details the searching strategies for the selection
advantages beyond the basic savings. NNS as a distinct of NNS papers included in this survey. A number of
subject has its roots in the design for manufacturing different search terms and screening approach were
(DFM) work of Boothroyd and Dewurst1 in the 1980s. employed. A broad search was followed by a process of
Their pioneering work on a systematic approach to abstract verification that allowed the scope to be lim-
design for assembly (DFA) directly influenced subse- ited to papers and articles related to metal manufactur-
quent approaches to the improvement of process effi- ing processes.
ciency. For example, Ishii et al.2 developed a design for Figure 1 illustrates the rate and focus of NNS
injection molding (DFIM) system which was directly research reported over the last 30 years. Since the peak
implemented in computer-aided design (CAD) system. of NNS research activity (between 1995 and 2005), the
The knowledge-based system was able to screen draw- variety of materials under investigation has dramati-
ings associated with mechanical components and apply cally increased. The cost of composites and ceramic
DFIM rules to make suggestions to tailor their shapes components appears to have motivated much of this
for injection molding. Many other authors have recent work. Similarly, industries that use titanium, or
reported the implementation of similar DFM codes in complex metal alloys, have provided easiest justifica-
CAD/computer-aided engineering (CAE) system. tions of NNS approaches and allowed the subsequent
Following Tateno,3 Hwang and Stoehr,4 Mathur spread of successful applications to other, less costly,
et al.,5 Doege and Thalemann,6 and other pioneering materials. Only a few NNS investigation relating to
studies, Altan and Miller7 were the first to clearly exotic materials, such as rhenium and amorphous
define the aims and boundaries of NNS design. They alloys, have been published. Given the high costs of
first discuss the conceptual design stage where ‘‘A feasi- such metals, it is likely that commercial confidentiality
ble part/process design is not achieved until a balance has restricted dissemination of this work.
is achieved among functional requirements, production
volume, part geometry, process capabilities, material
properties, tooling requirements, equipment require- Review synthesis
ments and other factors.’’ Many alternatives need to be In this section, the articles have been categorized in
explored in this phase, responding to every ‘‘what-if’’ terms of the research methodologies applied (i.e. experi-
question, but, they suggest, it is at the detailed design mental, analytical, review meta-analysis). Figure 2
stage, ‘‘design for manufacturability’’ needs to be evalu- shows how the approaches adopted by researchers have
ate. Altan and Miller7 define three possible forms of varied over the years and demonstrates the predomi-
manufacturability evaluation: nance of the empirical approach.
Figure 3 details the distribution of papers in terms
1. The modifications, or evolution, of a design after of the industry sectors: aero-space/aero-nautical, multi-
the specific combination of material and manufac- sector application (gears, spline shaft, connecting rods,
turing of material and manufacturing process is magnets production), automotive, electronic/robotic,
defined. nuclear/energy, academic research, military and others
2. The evaluation of several potential candidate pro- (mold fabrication, heavy industry, ingots production,
cess/material combinations when the component ecologic productions, biomedical). Figure 4 shows the
design is fixed. percentage of NNS papers associated specific processes:
Marini et al. 3

Table 1 Articles searching and selection strategy.

forging (hot, cold, precision, closed-die forging, includ- model, investigating the strip casting dynamic and
ing hot extrusion and indirect extrusion), forming nozzle shape optimization. Kwak and Doumanidis13
(including flow forming, hydroforming, semi-solid introduce a closed-loop controller for optimizing mate-
metal casting (SSMC), semi-solid metal extrusion, roll- rial deposition in thermally scanned welding, extend-
ing and strip casting), casting (sand, investment, centri- able to other welding technologies. Jeon and Kim14
fugal, high- and low-pressure casting), additive layer compare two different analytic methods for simulating
manufacturing (ALM) processes (including blown hot isostatic pressing and verifying them through a
powder and metal bed technologies) and powder tech- combination of finite element model (FEM) and previ-
nologies (including hot isostatic pressing, metal injec- ous experimental trials reported in the literature.
tion molding (MIM)). Tomov and Gagov15 (Figure 5) optimize the preform
The following sections review contributions to the design of spur gears. The authors model, analytically,
development of the research methodologies reported in both the preliminary open-die forgings operations and
Figure 2. For each category of contribution considered the final precision forging, correlating all manufactur-
(i.e. analytical, DFM methodology), the process ing steps with preform dimensioning.
described in one, or more, of the papers belonging to Castro et al.16 (Figure 6) apply a genetic algorithm
that group is illustrated schematically to show the optimization to a numerical model, simulating a hot
researcher’s approach. upset forging process. The evolutionary strategy pro-
vides process parameters and preform design optimiza-
tion (described by a polynomial function). This
Theoretical—analytical approach is notable for its linking of process and
The following papers report analytical models of NNS resource optimization with process parameters and
processes. Chitkara and Bhutta8 develop an upper- product design.
bound model for predicting forming loads in splined
shaft forging (relative to their reduction ratio) and
compare the results with experimental trials. Similarly, Theoretical—numerical
upper-bound models have been developed for forging The following papers report numerical models of NNS
of spur gears9 and crown gears.10 In a slightly different processes. The maturing of this category of NNS inves-
approach, Chitkara and Kim11 use upper-bound and tigation into a practical tools that could support
velocity field (i.e. various forging rate) for predicting Multiphysics models can be seen in the work of Hwang
loads in forging of gear coupling. Netto et al.12 deploy and Stoehr4 who develop a solidification model for
a turbulent fluid flow, heat transfer and solidification casting processes that included turbulent viscosity,
4 Proc IMechE Part B: J Engineering Manufacture 00(0)

Figure 1. Annual publication volume of academic papers reporting NNS investigation classified by materials (1985–2015) (Table 1).

surface tension and marker reduction scheme of molten parameters and stress analysis for a correct process
metal, combining Lagrangian and Eulerian approach. design. Yuan et al.24 (Figure 7) deploy a model for
Similar complexity of modeling is used in simulating simulating hot isostatic pressing of axial-symmetric
isothermal forging process by Morita et al.17, for opti- components. The tool design has been tested for
mizing die design and preform positioning of a turbine obtaining dimensional proprieties of component and
blade. Comparing to the classic forging process, the again experimental trials show good agreement
authors observe the superior properties of isothermal between predicted and real geometries.
forged component (in terms of defects, mechanical and
material properties and decreasing machining allow-
ance). Li18 uses finite elements for modeling the electro- DFM methodologies
magnetic recirculation process during casting. The following papers report ‘‘Design for X’’ methodol-
Takemasu et al.19 investigate precision forging process ogies relevant to NNS processes. Chu et al.25 deploy a
of connecting rod. Using material flow simulation, the skeleton-based design analysis to extract topological
authors optimized the preform design in this applica- information from a 3D model (Euler characteristics
tion (volumes definition and the effectiveness of die fill- and connectivity). In this way, product features infor-
ing process are critical in precision forming). Initially, mation are digitalized and computed through a dedi-
they optimized the component by parts, dividing the cated algorithm. Using a heuristic knowledge base
rod in regions, before subsequently proposing a new database, product design feasibility can be analyzed for
preform design. Mamalis et al.20 compare implicit and different casting and forming technologies. De Sam
explicit approaches to modeling precision die forging. Lazaro et al.26 develop a feature recognition program
They concluded that implicit code results are more for sheet metal parts.
accurate, although that computational cost is higher. Program rules are able to represent sheet features
Okada et al.21 deploy numerical models for forging of and so represent a simple design as a digital object. This
semi-solid alloys and validate them with experimental allows a knowledge-based system to be configured,
results. The aim is to characterize the Al-Al3Ni flow adapting DFM rules for this specific case. Using this
and deformation in semi-solid state forging. Kim program, the multistage sheet forging process’s compo-
et al.22 investigate numerically a centrifugal casting nent design can also be evaluated and a feedback can
investment process (or centrifuging casting) of turbo- be provided to the designer. Caporalli et al.27 (Figure 8)
charger rotors (TiAl alloy). Simulation provides infor- report a CAD-/FEM-based expert system that enables
mation about mold filling, which correlate well with process design optimization for manufacturing by a
experimental trials and can be used to resolve produc- precision hot forging process. Starting from a part
tion problems such as the incomplete filling of dies. design, the system applies dedicated NNS rules (e.g.
Park et al.23 develop a bi-dimensional FEM to charac- minimizing machining allowances, selection of parting
terize multistage forging of automotive parts (joint). line, radii, drafts and fillets selection) and modifies the
The numerical model’s aim is to develop a reliable part design. After this, a forging sequence (checking
forming process chain as well as to establish process also the different preforms designs) is created using
Marini et al. 5

Figure 2. Annual publication volume of academic papers reporting NNS investigation categorized by research method (1985–2015)
(Table 1).

Figure 3. Papers distribution by applications.

6 Proc IMechE Part B: J Engineering Manufacture 00(0)

Figure 4. Percentage of NNS papers by manufacturing process.

Figure 5. Schematization of Tomov and Gagov’s15 procedure for analytical optimization of forging process.
Marini et al. 7

Figure 6. Schematization of Castro et al.’s16 genetic algorithm for optimizing hot impression-die forging process in terms of
preform shape and process temperature.

either the job’s similarity with previous routes or gener- component into different sizes of cube. After stability
ated, according to selected NNS criteria and matched analysis, an assembly sequence is generated and a
to material, size and geometry of the part. Finally, a die robotic cell used to construct the component by collo-
design is generated, considering preforms geometry, cating and binding the singular cubic volumes. Final
thermal expansion and the use of standardized tools component needs to be post-machined in order to
and inserts. Yin et al.28 present a virtual prototyping obtain curve surfaces. Löwer et al.31 review and deploy
approach for evaluating the feasibility of mold casting. strategy for substituting conventional material (metal
Framework evaluates geometric moldability of the and plastic) and process. They identify and assess the
component by recognizing and evaluating undercut fea- technical, ecological and economic feasibility of this
tures. The algorithm is capable of recognizing undercut approach and use a systematic approach for matching
features and giving multiple interpretations based on technical requirements with biological characteristics.
volume decomposition. The component volume is
decomposed into cells in order to evaluate parting
directions and feasibility. Konak et al.29 estimate NNS reviews
shrinkage in hot isostatic pressing using a neural net The following papers review NNS processes methodol-
approach to create a predictive model based on indus- ogies and models. Doege and Thalemann6 approach
trial data (regression analysis). Medellin et al.30 develop NNS by reviewing metal forming technologies for sev-
a decomposition and optimization procedure (Octotree) eral applications (including squeeze casting and rolling).
from a 3D model, which provides a subdivision of These forming processes replace existing technologies
8 Proc IMechE Part B: J Engineering Manufacture 00(0)

Figure 7. Yuan et al.’s24 numerical investigation scheme for evaluating hot isostatic pressing final shape prediction through FEM.

Figure 8. Caporalli et al.’s27 expert system flowchart with application to process design components.

(mainly machining), in turn these substitutions are workflow’s design is detailed. Altan and Miller7 review
explained and justified by the possibility of obtaining previous ‘‘design-for-forging’’ (hot, cold, warm and
ready-to-install products. Kudo32 surveys and sum- sheet forging) and ‘‘design-for-manufacturing’’
marizes previous industrial approaches and frameworks approaches. In the latter, the author summarizes
for quality control, comparing them with NNS ‘‘design-for-net-shape-methodologies’’ and application,
approach. The author provides both general models giving fundamental guidelines and definitions.
and examples in forming and forging environments. Moriguchi33 discusses the impact of cold forging (par-
Interaction between process controls (equipment and ticularly injection forging) on production of gears and
process parameters), workforce and the process chain drive train components, including impact of CAE on
Marini et al. 9

Figure 9. Schematic representation of Kang et al.’s43 experimental paper on aluminum carter squeeze casting (old process,
material, product design and new NNS tested process and material; investigation aims; NNS variables developments and comparison
levels between new and old NNS process).

process efficiency. Similarly, Siegert et al.34 summarize forming on tubes production, including process simula-
approaches for precision forming of aluminum and tion and optimization. Mudge and Wald40 synthesize
steel. The authors review die design and process para- possible application for freeform technology, including
meter optimization (using FEM) for hot forging of con- repairing, cladding and also pioneering full components
necting rods and helical gears. Similarly, Yoshimura freeform fabrication. Yamamoto et al.41 investigate the
and Tanaka35 review precision forging methods for sim- potential of the Armstrong process, which provides tita-
ilar materials and detail their possible applications. nium powders for sintering process. Mechanical proper-
Kruth et al.36 discuss possible future applications of ties and final densities obtained by the authors in
ALM techniques in manufacturing production, present- previous experiments are compared as well as those
ing them as NNS processes. Doege and Bohnsack37 reported for different powder forming technologies.
evaluate the impact of innovative equipment and device
optimization (particularly closing devices) on hot for-
ging performances (e.g. reduction of forging loads). Empirical—experimental
Dean38 summarizes the benefit of several innovative The following papers detail experimental investigations
forming technologies (i.e. orbital, precision and closed- into NNS processes. A number of authors have reported
die forging) on spur and helical gears. The author investigations into the potential of SSMC process for
reviews the impacts of these new technologies on final NNS applications: Witulski et al.42 compare SSMC and
product properties and manufacturing chains. Mac isothermal forging capabilities for aluminum alloys,
Donald and Hashmi39 review the impact of bulge- mainly in terms of productivity and defects avoidance.
10 Proc IMechE Part B: J Engineering Manufacture 00(0)

Figure 10. Schematic representation of Dirba et al.’s59 experimental paper on magnet forging (old process, material, product design
and new NNS tested processes and product designs; investigation motives and targets; NNS variables developments; comparison
levels between old and NNS process).

Kang et al.43 (Figure 9) examine different reheating investigate Al-Si alloy properties (mechanical, thermal
methods for the semi-solid casting of aluminum compo- and fractural behavior) and microstructure arising from
nents, comparing the resulting microstructure, mechani- production of ingots using a disintegrated melt deposi-
cal and surface proprieties. Kapranos et al.44 optimize a tion technique. Material properties are also reported
thixoforming die for minimizing defects in the produc- during an investigation of the investment casting of
tion of end plates for electric motors. automotive components (turbocharger and exhaust
De Yin et al.45 develop and test horizontal-type valves), in which Sung and Kim48 analyze the resulting
induction heating for SSMC. Mechanical properties TiAl microstructure (a-case formation) and fluidity.
have been evaluated varying process parameters for a For hot rolling, Arribas et al.49 investigate dynamic
novel reheating method. Investigating rheocasting, and static recrystallization (dependent on grain size
Curle46 report the results of microstructural analysis of and deformation conditions during the process) as well
aluminum alloys produced by a number of different as particles/precipitates inclusion of Ti alloys. Köhl
processes. Similarly, other authors have reported mate- et al.50 develop a variant of MIM for producing highly
rial characteristics for several applications, characteriz- porous NiTi medical implants. Microstructure and
ing materials behavior or targeting material properties, mechanical properties control are performed using
through new or existent processes. Gupta and Ling47 space-holders techniques (i.e. testing different material
Marini et al. 11

Figure 11. Schematic representation of Bewlay et al.’s64 experimental paper on engine disk roll forging (old process, material,
product design and new NNS tested process and product designs; investigation motives and targets; NNS variables developments;
comparison levels between old and NNS process).

powders, injected with the metal and after chemically (melting blown powder technology). Janney et al.55
removed). Qi et al.51 study heat treatment effects on investigate a powder forging process (Gelcast) for pro-
microstructure and mechanical properties during a ducing tool steel and ceramic machinable green
laser deposition process of Inconel alloys. Rapid manu- parts. Krishna et al.56 experiment with LENS (Laser
facturing (also known as additive layer manufacturing) Engineered Net Shaping) system (freeform fabrication)
has also been investigated by other authors, mainly for NiTi alloys, displaying final mechanical and micro-
treating them as NNS process for defined components structural properties. Taminger and Hafley57 investi-
geometries or materials. Lewis et al.52 summarize the gate electron beam forming process for aerospace
trials for direct light fabrication technology, including components. Working with forming and forging pro-
final components properties. Milewski et al.53 use a cesses, Hartley58 investigates hot extrusion for lithium
five-axis powder deposition to produce complex geo- alloys, for aerospace application. The author tested dif-
metries from 316 stainless steel direct light fabrication ferent working condition and assessed the savings for
(selective laser melting). the final machining step. Also Dirba et al.59 (Figure 10)
Investigating the production of NNS Inconel turbine use similar technology with low deformable alloys (Nd-
components, Qi et al.54 deploy a ‘‘Design of Fe-B) for magnets production. Magnetic proprieties
Experiments’’ approach for systematically assessing the have been investigated as well as temperature stability
process parameters in laser net shape manufacturing and mechanical characteristics with the aim of enabling
12 Proc IMechE Part B: J Engineering Manufacture 00(0)

Figure 12. Onodera and Sawai’s66 Ishikawa diagram for cold forging and results of its application.

material waste reduction. Similar investigation has been production. Hirt et al.68 investigate potentiality of thix-
conducted by Hinz et al.60 for radially oriented mag- oforming for automotive components weight reduction,
nets. Shi et al.61 demonstrate the advantages of isother- developing simulation and production optimization
mal closed-die forging for impeller production using (process parameters). Quality, reliability and potential
FEM analysis and experimental trials. Julien and production volume of components are investigated in
Després62 develop a novel low-pressure metal injection an industrial environment (where production is assisted
molding (LMIM), process that is economic for low by robotic device). Many authors introduce rapid pro-
batch sizes. They report the application of the process totyping processes as NNS application, for example,
to production of aerospace turbine blades and investi- Schlienger et al.69 for LENS, Milewski et al.70 and
gate the microstructure obtained. Working on strip Lewis and Schlienger71 for laser deposition and Bak72
casting, Liang et al.63 investigate edge containment for for direct metal casting. Blackwell and Wisbey73 com-
Zn-10Al alloy. Bewlay et al.64 develop roll forming for pare final properties (mechanical properties and micro-
engine disk, comparing its microstructure, mechanical structure) using different LENS laser types and power
properties and material wastage with conventional hot compositions. Similarly, Kottman et al.74 assess the fea-
forging process (Figure 11). Park et al.65 investigate the sibility of laser hot wire application for aerospace com-
machining of turbine blades and report the experimen- ponents (titanium). LaSalle and Zedalis75 explain
tal optimization for tool positioning in the context of capabilities of MIM for high production volume and
NNS production. low-weight component. Groenbaek and Birker76 dis-
cuss dies containers design and the way in which die
life-life increases impact on productivity. Dahlman and
Empirical—case study Escursell77 introduce a tool cooling system for turning
The following papers report empirical results for NNS operation, which results in an increase in productivity.
processes based on experimental investigations. Douglas and Kuhlmann78 illustrate some sensible
Onodera and Sawai66 (Figure 12) illustrate two exam- improvement in material waste and quality, using preci-
ples of NNS applications in automotive industry (for sion forging processes. Cai et al.79 test different die
spline shaft and joint productions) and introduce a designs and lubrications for the precision forging of
general production scheme (inspired by Ishikawa gears. They examine the influences of different designs
tree’s schematization) that supports quality control on metal flow and load requirements through experi-
functions. ments and finite element simulation. Friction factor has
Maegaard67 illustrates the difference in process been evaluated experimentally and numerically during
design (die and punch) and final quality for cold forging all stages of forging process. Friction distribution is
and backward extrusion, in the context of small batch shown to have a strong influence on the process of die
Marini et al. 13

Figure 13. Schematic representation of Cominotti and Gentili’s83 experimental paper (old process, material, product design and
new NNS tested process; investigation motives and targets; NNS variables developments and comparison levels).

filling. Klug et al.80 synthesize the different impacts of aspects of cost. A differential cost analysis is presented
manufacturing processes (forging, forming and casting) that considers flow forming as economic alternative to
on economic production of titanium components in classic machining.
military components fabrication.
Behrens et al.81 and Vilotić et al.82 both investigate
the impact of precision (crankshafts, rods and gears)
and cold forging (roller bearings and cardan joints), The following papers report quantitative relationships
respectively, for the production of automotive compo- and data generated by NNS process case studies.
nents. Cominotti and Gentili83 (Figure 13) have com- Tateno3 investigate the differential processes capabil-
pared flow forming and classical machining for a shaft ities for casting and forging process in the case of large
production. The authors illustrate the different process size part production. Its investigation compares differ-
chains (including technological advantages and disad- ent materials and technological output, generated by
vantages) and detail their impact on the different different processes. Bhatkal and Hannibal84 describe
Table 2. Quantitative approaches: investigated variables, tools, investigated effects, impact on NNS and conclusions.

Campbell85 Tateno3 Bhatkal and Hannibal84

Investigated Materials Zinc, magnesium, aluminum alloy, cast Steel, cast iron Pure nickel
variables iron, steel alloy

Processes Casting processes (pressure die, low Open-die forging, sand casting, ingot Metal injection molding (MIM),
pressure/gravity die, high and low tech manufacturing chain investment casting
sand casting, lost foam, lost wax)

Product designs Nominal casting sizes (10–1000 mm) Large sizes component (nuclear and Lightweight (120 gr) and low thickness
chemical pressure vessels, rotor shafts, (3 mm) components
water turbine runners)

Tools Cause–effect matrix, statistical survey Forging/casting processes chains Technical cost modeling (TCM),
(variability dependency on casting evolution, process capability mapping, differential cost analysis, process
length process defects mapping mapping

Investigated effects Dimensional variability (mm, %), Quality improvements, process chains Process costs (direct/indirect)
casting accuracy (mm,%) (casting and forging) modification modeling, cost sensitivity to
impact on equipment, tools and production volume, process variables
process parameters and part weight, differential impact (%)
of voices of cost

Impact on near Categorizing casting productions on Identify best casting and forging At equivalent (or satisfactory) levels of
net shape accuracy and dimensional variability processes relating to big size processes’ performances, differential
(NNS) technology (evaluating and quantifying impact components production cost analysis need to be structured for
factors) being a comprehensive and adaptive
decision tool

Main conclusion Lost wax is the most accurate only for Pointing out progress made in mega MIM in convenient over investment
small sizes castings. Pressure die and parts production, including technical casting only for a very high production
high-quality sand have greatest details for casting and forging (process volume (million pieces magnitude) for
reproducibility for all dimensions and chains and parameters) and managerial the specific product requirements
materials aspects (R&D)
Proc IMechE Part B: J Engineering Manufacture 00(0)
Marini et al. 15

one of the few differential cost analysis and production or waste reduction. Investigations are mainly empirical
capabilities mapping, for comparing MIM and invest- (experimental and case studies) and analytical.8–12,14
ment casting. Information about several components The empirical ones focus on forming, particularly on
have been gathered using a technical cost modeling enhancing and optimizing SSMC processes in terms of
approach. A complete economic evaluation has been the technological quality43,44,68 or establishing ALM
made in both cases and its sensitivity has been mapped processes’s workable materials57 or geometric capabil-
by varying design and process parameters. Campbell85 ities.54 Analytical papers are focused on determining
evaluates casting potentialities for several processes achievable geometries9,10,14 and technological qual-
(sand casting, lost foam, lost wax, high pressure and ity8,11 as well as optimizing workable materials12 in for-
low pressure/gravity casting). The dimensional variabil- ging process applications. Analytical analysis on
ity of parts was investigated in relation to process vari- material optimization has also been conducted for
ables, production dimensions and material. The author powder technologies.8–12,14 Much of the work on
has been able to rank casting process regarding their numerical analysis enhance and optimize the quality of
potential dimensional accuracy (depending on casting casting, particularly investment casting,18,22 and also
dimensions). Table 2 summarizes the quantitative defining the component shapes achievable by forging.20
approaches methodologies and results.
Product design
Discussion ‘‘Product design’’ papers aim to evaluate, modify and
Although they deal with many different NNS technolo- establish the influence of product design on process per-
gies, the discussed papers can be classified into five dis- formances,19,29 feasibility,25,26,28 design15,28,30 and final
tinct classes (Table 3). Altan and Miller7 observed that product quality.29 DFM methodologies are mainly used
part design, material and process play fundamental in this category,15,19,25,26,28–30 and it is interesting to
roles in NNS technology; taxonomy in the tables has note that only two papers have investigated forging
been defined as process innovation, process design, with different methodologies, one numerically (i.e.
product design, material characterization, differential. regarding cost performances improvement19) and the
other analytically (i.e. regarding process design15).
DFM methodologies have also been applied for deter-
Process innovation
mining the feasibility of forming25,26 and casting pro-
‘‘Process innovation’’ papers introduce a new pro- cesses.28 The approach is a powerful one and processes
cess36,39,55,69 or illustrate its capabilities and main vari- chains and process parameters have been designed
ables for a defined range of products33,35,38,61,75,76,80–82 using DFM methodologies for casting,28 forming and
and materials.36,52,53,55,80 The process innovation’s clas- additive layer manufacturing.30 DFM methodologies
sification is dominated by work on forging/form- have been used for predicting the final product quality
ing33,35,38,39,61,76,81,82 and additive layer (i.e. shrinkage) and performances (i.e. quantify ideal
manufacturing36,40,52,53,69 processes, although a few shape modifications) in powder technologies hot iso-
articles investigate novel powder technologies55,75 and static pressing (HIP).29
casting80 processes. The majority of the papers in this
category present case studies35,38,53,76,80–82 and
reviews,33,36,39,40 although some experimental investiga- Material characterization
tion are reported for powder technologies55,75 and ‘‘Material characterization’’ papers define metal prop-
additive layer manufacturing.52,69 The applications erties in connection with a new process62,74 (e.g.
motivating work in this area are the forging of LMIM, and laser hot wire process, ALM process) or
gears,33,38,76 similar high performance automotive com- existing process21,22,41,46,49,51,56,73 or products.
ponents35,81,82 (i.e. bearings, cardan shafts, rods) and Microstructure,41,46,49,51,56,62,73,74 mechanical proper-
impellers.61,75 Tool design,35 particularly die design for ties,51,56,62,73 plastic flow/behavior21 and other material
forging,33,38,76 and new process configuration39 are also processing parameters (e.g. fluidity, strain curve)22,41,49
frequently investigated by authors. Process parameters are commonly investigated material properties.
and variables for new processes are determined by sev- Titanium22,41,46,49,73,74 is the most investigates material,
eral authors,36,38,39,55,82 again mainly for forging pro- because of its excellent mechanical proprieties, versati-
cesses and powder technologies. lity and high cost but it is not the only focus and other
papers investigate specific alloys such as aluminum–
titanium,21 nickel–titanium56 and Inconel alloys.51,56
Process design The majority of the articles is experimental46,49,51,56,62,74
‘‘Process design’’ papers aim to establish,8–11,14,20,54,57,68 or case study,73,74 although it is surprising to note that
optimize12,22,34,44 or enhance18,43,49 process capabilities only one uses a design of experiments approach.51 Two
in terms of technological quality,8,11,18,43,44,59,68 geo- papers investigate titanium behavior for centrifugal
metric capabilities,9,10,14,20,54 workable material12,34,57 casting22 and SSMC21 with numerical models.
Table 3. Overview of the NNS research: process innovation, process design, product design, material characterization, differential analysis, applied framework.

Stream Process innovation Process design Product design Material characterization Differential analysis Applied framework

Construct variants Process analysis, process Process characterization, Adaptive design, design Microstructure analysis, Experimental analysis, Expert system,
definition process modeling, for X, parametric design, microstructure differential cost analysis framework, flowchart,
process optimization design analysis, virtual development algorithm

Description Introducing a new Establish, optimize or Evaluate/modify/establish Material properties Compare different Introducing general
process or describing its enhance process influence of product (microstructure, processes and/or product models or dedicated
capabilities and main capabilities in terms of design on process mechanical, plastic designs and/or materials procedures in order
variables for a defined technological quality, performances/feasibility/ behavior and so on) by considering economic to act on
range of product and geometric capability, design and final product definition in connection and/or technological manufacturing
materials workable material and quality with a developed or output (product quality/ variables (process,
waste reduction existent process/product conformity/proprieties) product design,
material) and obtaining
resources saving

Key concepts Process capabilities Experimental Geometric modeling, Formability, mechanical Process comparison, General model,
mapping, process characterization, design of geometric feasibility, properties, fluidity, economic evaluation, systematic approach,
variables, innovative experiments, process process feasibility, recrystallization, product economic model multi-subject
process configuration and modeling (FEM, analytic) preform design quality approach, adaptive
equipment (e.g. new die frame

Papers number 24 (29% of the total) 29 (35% of the total) 7 (9% of the total) 11 (13% of the total) 7 (9% of the total) 6 (7% of the total)
69 18 68 19 73 3
Main works Schlienger et al., LaSalle Li, Hirt et al., Kim Takemasu et al., Tomov Blackwell and Wisbey, Tateno, Bhatkal and Onodera and Sawai,66
and Zedalis,75 Groenbaek et al.,22 Chitkara and and Gagov,15 Chu et al.,25 Kottman et al.,74 Okada Hannibal,84 Cominotti Castro et al.,16 Altan
and Birker,76 Lewis Bhutta,8 Chitkara and De Sam Lazaro et al.,26 et al.,21 Yamamoto et and Gentili,83 Witulski and Miller,7 Caporalli
et al.,52 Milewski et al.,53 Kim,10 Chitkara and Yin et al.,28 Konak et al.29 al.,41 Curle,46 Kim et al.,22 et al.,42 Morita et al.,17 et al.,27 Löwer et al.31
Klug et al.,80 Behrens Bhutta,9 Chitkara and and Medellin et al.30 Arribas et al.,49 Qi et Campbell85 and Bewlay and Kudo32
et al.,81 Vilotić et al.,82 Kim,11 Netto et al.,12 Jeon al.,51 Krishna et al.56 and et al.64
Dean,38 Moriguchi,33 and Kim,14 Siegert et al.,34 Julien and Després62
Kruth et al.,36 Yoshimura Kapranos et al.,44 Kang
and Tanaka,35 Mac Donald et al.,43 Qi et al.,54
and Hashmi,39 Mudge and Taminger and Hafley,57
Wald,40 Janney et al.55 Dirba et al.59 and Mamalis
and Shi et al. 61 et al.20

FEM: finite element model.

Proc IMechE Part B: J Engineering Manufacture 00(0)
Marini et al. 17

Forming,49 particularly SSMC,21,46 ALM and powder by the nature of the specific application. The literature
technologies processes are the most investigated for reflects how NNS philosophies have evolved over the
material characterization. years to include almost all the main manufacturing
techniques. So although initially the phrase was only
used in reference to plastic deformation processes,
Differential analysis NNS concepts have now been extended to casting and
In the category ‘‘Differential analysis,’’ papers compare powder technologies and are implicit in the justification
different processes17,42,84 or different processes with dif- of many specialist forming processes (e.g. flow forming,
ferent product designs64,85 or even different combina- hydroforming, SSMC),21,39,42–44,46,68,83 powder technol-
tions of processes, product designs and materials.3,83 ogies (HIP, MIM)62,84 and ALM systems.36,40,51–
The authors use comparison criteria which include pro- Indeed, today the term NNS is frequently
cess economics3,83 and technological output evalua- used to convey the generic capabilities of manufactur-
tions.17,42,64,84,85 The technological output evaluation ing technologies and distinguish them from systems
considers product quality, product conformity and the that aim to deliver finished components. The literature
generic proprieties (e.g. part weight, vibrational charac- also highlights that NNS has been associated with the
teristics). The latter are final product characteristics creation of advantageous process and material combi-
which are not described as quality or conformity nation for particular designs whose form has been
requirements (i.e. depending on the specific product manually tailored for that purpose. Interestingly, there
application). Three paper use quantitative appears to be a lack of general frameworks or
approach,3,84,85 comparing different casting pro- computer-aided manufacturing (CAM)/CAD tools to
cesses,85 casting and powder technologies (MIM)84 as support the general process of ‘‘Design for NNS’’ (i.e.
well as casting and forging.3 Isothermal forging has the reported tools2,25–27 are largely focused on support
been used as benchmark for comparison of several pro- of specific processes such as casting, closed-die forging
cesses: experimentally for roll forging64 and SSMC42 and injection molding). Similarly, the general interac-
and numerically for closed-die forging.17 The only case tions between material, design and process are only
study reports an economic comparison between flow rarely investigated and formally expressed (even
forming and friction welding/machining.83 although this is an area of work is suggested by many
authors as a future development).7,32
The literature demonstrates that innovative NNS
Applied framework systems are still emerging but although researchers fre-
‘‘Applied framework’’ papers introduce general mod- quently report new technologies the impact of these
els7,31,32 or adaptive procedures16,27,66 for determining contributions on cost and the overall workflow in a
manufacturing variables (process, product design, manufacturing process is only rarely discussed.32,66,83
material) in order to obtain resources saving,7,16,31,32 Perhaps, a competitive analysis might be undertaken
quality enhancing66 or process design optimization (i.e. for a number of candidate processes (usually no more
process parameters selection).7,16,27 The majority of the than two) but the scope of such analysis is often limited
papers analyze process and product variable combina- by the lack of flexibility in a component’s material and
tions,16,32,66 but only one considers the combination of design. A comparative cost analysis is a fundamental
process, product and material.31 Two of them are tak- instrument for justifying every investigation into the
ing in consideration only process variation.7,27 Main desirability of NNS technologies. The few differential
application of work in the class is the forging pro- cost analysis reported in the literature are mainly case
cess,7,16,27,66 although two articles include casting31 and study,83,84 where only different process alternatives
forming32 in their frameworks. Resource saving is the have been evaluated (i.e. without considering alternate
main motivation (i.e. raw material usage reduc- materials or designs). There appear to be no reports of
tion7,16,31), because of its high impact on forging cost. work connecting systematic methodologies for process
DFM methodologies27,31 and reviews7,32 have been (e.g. Swift) and material (e.g. Ashby) selection.
used for constructing the frameworks, although the fol-
lowing report different approaches: in one Ishikawa
diagram for cold forging66 is constructed through a
case study, on the other hand, the other article analyti- This review has identified and categorized the reported
cal approach uses genetic algorithms16 for developing a work on NNS manufacturing over the last 30 years.
preform design methodology. The process of creating a structured summary of the
field has resulting in the identification of several knowl-
edge gaps and trends in the academic literature. It is
Closing remarks clear that the NNS approach has evolved from being a
NNS manufacturing is a multi-disciplinary task and generic term to a specific family of processes and tech-
consequently approaches are varied and often driven nologies. The early sections showed that the total
18 Proc IMechE Part B: J Engineering Manufacture 00(0)

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