The Institute of Machining Technology (ISF), headed by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dirk Biermann, has engaged since more than 40 years in research and education in all relevant machining processes and in the application of methods from computer science in machining. The investigated processes include turning, drilling, deep-hole drilling, milling, grinding, honing, and blasting. Several of these processes are performed in the high-speed (HSC) or high-performance (HPC) range or are to be qualified for these highly productive techniques in current research activities. Furthermore, micromachining (for drilling and milling), dry machining and minimal-quantity lubrication constitute central aspects of the research at ISF. The realization of virtual machining processes based on different modeling techniques and the optimization of production-related processes are also analyzed comprehensively.

These research areas represent a spectrum which ranges from projects of fundamental nature, i.e., in the context of publicly funded research, to application-based projects, which are worked on in direct cooperation with industry partners.

The public benefits from the gained knowledge in form of numerous written publications (approx. 60 in 2016) and contributions to conferences as well as participation in exhibitions and other events. In the case of application-based projects, the knowledge is exclusively made available to the industry partners. To accomplish these tasks, the staff of the institute comprises 30 scientific and 7 technical employees as well as approx. 40 student assistants at present. In small teams, these highly qualified employees deal with tasks according to their professional expertise. The scientific employees are additionally responsible for the acquisition and documentation of research projects whereas the technical staff primarily takes care of the extensive machine, measuring, and computer equipment of the institute and is in charge of accounting, administration, and maintaining the library. Approximately 20 percent of the personnel costs are financed by federal funds, the remaining personnel costs are financed by third-party funds.

Another important task is the education of students. For this purpose, ISF offers numerous courses, to some extent of fundamental nature, which are always expanded with results from current research works. The courses are aimed at students from mechanical engineering, logistics, industrial engineering, Master of Science in Manufacturing Technology (MMT) and in some cases students of the whole TU Dortmund.

The technical equipment includes 15 modern CNC machine tools and machining centers which can be used to conduct the aforementioned machining processes at the highest stage. Additionally, comprehensive measuring equipment and an excellent IT infrastructure are available at ISF. Specific facilities and laboratories allow an optimal realization of experiments, conferences, and seminars.

ISF Organization Chart
The ISF (cf. fig.) is comprised of three research divisions (Machining Technology, Grinding Technology, Simulation and Process Design). These three divisions are supported by employees of the extensively equipped electronic and measuring laboratories (including hard- and software), by sample preparation, and with regard to the business managing of research projects by an internal accounting and purchasing department.

The ISF maintains several collaborations to other research institutes and to industry partners. The cooperation with industry partners covers a wide range of topics:

  • Optimization of manufacturing processes
  • Solutions for machining problems
  • Design of cutting tools
  • Machining of special materials
  • Support for the adoption of new technologies
  • Processing of digitized data
  • Prototypical manufacturing
  • Simulations
  • Training
  • Seminars
Within the TU Dortmund, there are strong connections to the Institute of Materials Engineering, to the Materials Test Engineering Department, to the Institute of Forming Technology and Lightweight Construction, to all other chairs and institutes of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, and to several chairs of the Department of Computer Science, the Faculty of Statistics, and the Faculty of Mathematics. Close relations within the German research landscape are maintained especially with institutes and chairs from production engineering which are members of the WGP (German Academic Society for Production Engineering) and with research institutes from materials engineering as well as with different Fraunhofer-Institutes. In the field of machining technology, the ISF contributes to several working groups and standardization committees (DIN, VDI, FWF, DGM, FVA).

A variety of international contacts and collaborations is established as well. Since 2016 Prof. Biermann is Fellow of the International Academy for Production Engineering (CIRP) whereby direct cooperations and contacts are established to the following universities and institutions:

  • Georgia Institute of Technology, USA, George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Prof. S. Melkote.
  • University of North Carolina, USA, Charlotte, Department of Engineering & Engineering Science, Prof. M. Davies
  • University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Prof. Y. Altintas
  • Universität Miskolc, Hungary, Lehrstuhl für Maschinenbautechnologie, Prof. Dr. I. Dudás
  • TU Wroclaw, Poland, Institut für Fertigungstechnik und Automatisierung, Prof. Dr.-Ing. J. Koch
  • Westböhmische Universität Pilsen, Tschech Republic, Lehrstuhl für spanende Technologie, Dr. Jandečka
  • City University of Hongkong, Department of Manufacturing Engineering, Prof. K. V. Patri
  • University of Ljubljana, Slowenien, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Prof. Dr. E. Govekar
  • Tongji-Universität Shanghai, China, Chinesisch-Deutsches Hochschul-kolleg, Prof. W. Zhang
  • Cranfield University, GB, Manufacturing Department, PD Dr.-Ing. Dipl.-Inform. J. Mehnen
  • ARTS & METIERS | Campus of Cluny, Labomap Laboratory Prof. J. C. Outeiro, MEng, MSc, PhD
  • IK 4 Fundación Tekniker, Research Alliance, Spanien