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International Journal of Operations & Production Management
ISSN : 0144-3577
Article publication date: 1 April 1985
What constitutes a success, survivor, or failure regarding UK quality circle programmes, is not a clear‐cut issue, according to results from four questionnaire‐based surveys carried out by the Department of Management Sciences at UMIST, 1982–4. It is an open question whether some quality circles have a limited life‐span and should be allowed to die off naturally when appropriate; circle activity often appears to resume once labour conditions have stabilised. The success of individual circles seems to depend greatly on how well their members work and integrate together, and how well the circle philosophy has been evolved to fit the company's style. A circle will only work as part of a policy of worker involvement and open management and if it is coupled with a specific long‐term company‐wide commitment to quality.
- Quality Circles
- United Kingdom
Dale, B.G. and Lees, J. (1985), "Factors Which Influence the Success of Quality Circle Programmes in the United Kingdom", International Journal of Operations & Production Management , Vol. 5 No. 4, pp. 43-54. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb054747
Copyright © 1985, MCB UP Limited
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A study of the quality circles concept in Indian industry (a case study on Bharat Electronics Limited, Ghaziabad),
2012, International Journal of Management Research and Reviews
Quality Circle (QC) proponents suggest a wide array of positive results when this Participation technique is used either in industry or in the service sector. This study is to determine whether QCs in one sector are performing more effectively than the other. It argues that the concept encourages employee participation as well as promotes teamwork and motivates people to contribute towards organizational effectiveness through group processes. Paper concludes that if the concept is appropriately implemented in the field of any industry the result and conclusions outcomes will not only be amazing but it will also help us to stumble on out tide over our own lacunae and facilitate designing of a better system.
This paper presents an overview of the philosophy and Quality Circle. Quality circle structure and various features of Quality Circle are very important for any organization. Quality Circle is a Quality Improvement Group and Work Group/Project Team. Successful implementation of QC makes an organization profitable. Quality Circle is an important method which involves the development of skills, capabilities, confidence & creativity of the people through cumulative process of education, training of employees in any organization. In modern era, Development of new management techniques has taken place all over the world which led to formation of complex production management system. Thus industry has to face many challenges due to increase in the product complexity. Quality Circles are small groups of employees and usually their supervisor who volunteer to meet regularly on company time to identify, analyze, and solve problems in their work area.
Quality Circle (QC) is an effective tool for linking employees to the process of decision making for enhancing employee motivation to work and perform.It is one of the major initiatives of various manufacturing units that has revealed success for organization in terms of increasing organizational effectiveness. It is expected that employees will take more pride in their work and higher production rates through increasing job satisfaction. Quality circle participation has positively increased satisfaction in quality of work life that would be beneficial for organizations to explore the possibility of adopting a quality circle program. This study is an attempt to focus on the impact of quality circle towards employees and organization. Importance and perception of training with good leadership qualities are the success of quality circle in any organization. Moreover, this study reveals the positive attitude will be developed that leads to overall improvement in organizational culture ...
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In order to succeed in globalized market an effective technique is crucial for manufacturing companies. This can be achieved through adopting participative management and it can be accomplished through quality circle. The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of employee motivation and quality circle activities on quality of product. To serve this idea, standard questionnaire was designed and data collected from members of quality circle in eighteen manufacturing companies' .The data were analyzed through Pearson correlation and regression analysis. Results emerging from the analysis show that motivation and quality circle activities are having significant and positive relationship with quality of product. Finally the article gives some suggestions to enhance employee motivation, quality circle activities and quality of product.
Literature on the impact of the quality circle process upon both individual and organizational outcomes was reviewed and, on average, demonstrated the intervention's effectiveness. This paper audits chosen writing relating to quality circles (characterized as a little gathering of individuals who meet willfully, all the time, to learn and apply procedures for recognizing, breaking down, and tackling business related issues) specifically that writing concentrating on correspondence related factors. The paper additionally offers bearings for future research, especially with regards to correspondence related factors. The ramifications of this finding and the presence of different dangers to quality circle viability are talked about.
Quality Circles (QCs) are a popular tool to get solved work related problems, mainly in manufacturing organizations by groups of workers themselves by following a prescribed methodology. By solving the problems and also making desirable improvements, quality circles contribute in increasing the quality, productivity and safety of the operations. More importantly the workers develop a positive and problem solving attitude by participating in the QC activities and derive more job satisfaction. The paper gives a step by step account of the implementation of the quality circles in a medium scale industry right from introduction to successful execution. A case study of implementing the QC concept in a Powder Coating Unit which illustrates how the QCs help in improving the productivity has been discussed. The factors which are important for the success of the quality circles are also explained. The study can serve as a guide and would be useful for the small and medium industries who are interested in introducing the quality circles.
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Volume 07, Issue 11 (November - 2018)
Short Review of QCC (Quality Control Circle) Implementation toward Productivity Improvement: Case Study
- Article Download / Views: 6,417
- Total Downloads : 0
- Authors : Zubaidi Faiesal Bin Mohamad Rafaai, Amir Hamzah Bin Abdul Rasib, Yusri Bin Ishak
- Paper ID : IJERTV7IS110047
- Volume & Issue : Volume 07, Issue 11 (November – 2018)
- Published (First Online): 05-01-2019
- ISSN (Online) : 2278-0181
- Publisher Name : IJERT
1Zubaidi Faiesal Bin Mohamad Rafaai 1Mechanical Engineering Department, College of Engineering
Universiti Tenaga Nasional, Jalan IKRAM-UNITEN 43000 Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia
2Amir Hamzah Bin Abdul Rasib
2Manufacturing Engineering Technology Department, Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka,
3Yusri Bin Ishak 3Quality Assurance Department, Samsung Electronics (M) Sdn Bhd
Lot 2, Lebuh 2, North Klang Straits, 41000 Port Klang, Selangor, Malaysia
Abstract This paper will review on the implementation of Quality Control Circle in an organization that can improved productivity of the organization. Focus more on effect of Quality Control Circle implementation, process of implementation and factors that help to improve productivity to meet customer demand. A few case studies conducted to review the quality circle method implementation. Comparison of different organization conducted in order to understand the implementation of QCC in their work area.
Keywords Quality circle, Implementation, Organization, Objective, Benefits, Factors
Quality circle (QC) or sometimes Quality Control Circle (QCC) defined as a method that encourages a group involvement in problem solving activities in order to enhance the productivity. These group activities can include any number of employees ranging from various levels in the working hierarchy of an organization. A successfully established quality circle eventually will boost the morality of the participants. The achievement that achieved as an overall makes them feel motivated to play their role in the organization.
Some of the companies that have exceled under the guidance of leaders who practice the concept of QC are Toyota, Nippon Wireless and Telegraph Company . The QC method have helped to improve the quality of the product and services, which provided by those company. QCC activities has instils cooperation and communication among fellow workers and makes them feel that they too are important to the company
In an industry, specifically manufacturing industry, which involves with labor, input, process and output, has to maintain or increase in term of the quality and productivity of their industry. Quality is ability of
product to satisfy the customers requirement. Quality control circle (QCC) is a method to observe, analyze, evaluate and solve the problem faced by a manufacturing industry in maintaining or increasing quality and production of their product.
Quality control circle (QCC) helps an industry to identify the problem in maintaining the quality. QCC also provides solution for the problem through sorting, survey and experimenting. The solution of the identified problem will based on the result that QCCs member obtained. QCC implements the solution and verify it. The quality circle usually consists of six basic elements, which are 1) Top management, 2) Steering committee, 3) Co-coordinator, 4)
Leader, 5) Members, and 6) non-members .
OBJECTIVE & STRUCTURE
The ultimate objective of QC is to contribute to company development, which respect to human relations. This will create a satisfactory working environment that can enhance the productivity of an organization. Quality circle targets the development of human relationships and communication among individuals to raise their awareness of the responsibilities in relation with the products delivered. Besides that, QC aims to create a framework where improvement ideas transformed to an actual application. This will also develop inner leadership and employees responsibilities to the organization . In general, the organizational structure of quality circle generally consists of six levels such as members, non- member, leader, facilitator, steering committee and top management.
QC Members: Members of a single work group voluntarily form a circle, which they can withdraw from the circle if they wish to do so. Normally, members are
encouraged to attend meetings regularly, participate actively and share ideas related to problem solving.
QC Leader: An elected leader will coordinate and supervise the work of each quality circle members. The QC leader will motivate members to participate actively and acts as a bridge that link between members and the facilitator. Besides that, the leader also trains members to identify problems and apply problem-solving techniques.
Facilitator: The quality circle and the steering committee will be mentor by the facilitator. Facilitator initiates the setting up of QCs by persuading the supervisor and evaluates the QC operations and programmes. Other than that, the facilitator needs to provide review and feedback to steering committee about the proceedings and results of the QC.
Steering Committee: This committee consists of top-level management from different departments and employees union. This committee will sponsor QC programme for the whole organization by defining overall objectives and operating guidelines to identify which department where the circles to be formed. They also select and train the facilitators and provide the resources to the facilitator .
For the application of Quality Circle, there are seven steps to make Quality Circle is a successful one. First step is to identify the problem, which will be done by the Quality Circle members. The problem is identified by the members, which the purpose is to solve it. Next, problems are analysed and try to solve it by using main problem- solving approach. Thirdly, come out with backup plans that focus more on various options of solutions. The solutions are generated to fully encounter for upcoming problems that may be happened.
After that, the outstanding solutions among them are chosen as the main solution. The most outstanding solution is based on which solution that is most suitable for the problems encountered. The fifth step is preparing an action plan for the solutions. The Quality of Circle members planned for the implementation of solution such as time, date and venue. Before the implementation of the solution, it will be presented to the management in order to obtain the approval. End of the step is the management appraise the solutions and approve it to be tested for small scale in order to check its reliability. See Figure 1 for the working model of Quality Circle. .
Figure 1 shows the working model of Quality Circle
PRO & CONS
A research journal had conducted a study regarding the practise of quality control circle (QCC) in an organization and the significant impacts it has on the employees productivity and to the overall productivity of the organization itself. The concept of QC approached variously by different organizations. The managements approach towards QC is to ensure that all responsible department in an organization work together in order to improve and maintain the quality of their product/services.
QCC programmes conducted in organizations encourage group participation employees and can only succeed depending on how well each member work and communicate with one another. The study found that QCC participants eventually ended up with a positive attitude approach towards their role in the organization. Positive thinking members were able to possess better decision making and problem-solving ability and also sharpen their skills which reduced the cases of skill relted mistakes and thus improving the overall productivity of the individual and also the organization itself. Table 1 show the significant impact of practising QCC has on the employees .
Table 1: Comparison between QCC members and Non- QCC members
The various advantage of establishing QCC in an organization are aiding workers to have a positive view on their role for the organization, enhancing productivity by improving the quality of the product and reducing the amount of rejected product. QCC also build up strong bonds between various employees from various level of the working hieracy, improve the working conditons and working environment. By the end of the activities conducted in the team, indirectly help employees in their self and social development skills.
However, there are some disadvantages of implementing QCC,which are the organization will require more time and money in order to build a successful QCC, the organizations weakness will be exposed, and effective results can only be clearly seen if conducted on large organizations. Most of the current difficulties faced in establishing QCC are that the organization will require a large number of trained staff, most employees will not be voluntary participate in QCC based activities, people in higher levels of the working hieracy will be dissapointed as they will be expecting quick and effective results and buidling a mutual relationship is difficult and will take time as each participant will have their own thoughts, views, ego and approach towards a situation .
There are several factors that affecting the implementation of the Quality Control Circle. First, the lack involvement and commitment of board and top
management into the exposure of the activities in Quality Control Circle to the members in conjunction with other organisation target and goals. It is because a successful organisation depends on the level of maturity in terms of leadership and commitment of the leading people in the organisation. Next, strategic planning of an organisation is crucial in order to achieve vision and mission of an organisation as it contributes to a suitable judgement that can assess an organisation current performance. This planning also included risk management planning which prepare backup plans that can investigate and handle the risks. The organisation mission also has to be in same direction of organisation goals and target which transform into operation planning.
Apart from that, communication is one of the significant aspects to have a sustain organisation. Communication absence will affect the organisation efficiency to the lowest as it leads to lack of involvement from the employee. Each department should have good communication system each other to get information, which results in maintaining the organisation capability. As the organisation is dealing with human being, motivation and moral support are needed to ensure their moral are in tiptop condition. Incentives such as bonus, facilities improvement and family day should be given as a reward of their hard work working to the organisation .
In order to have a sustainability of an organisation, endless of improvement have to be done to maintain the effectiveness of the organisation. This aspect is where maintenance team will apply their maintenance planning towards a better organisation. This factor is vital if an organisation wants a better-quality management system present and in future. In recent technological development, research and development must have continuous improvement if the organisation wants to compete in recent industry market. The organisation must have steps ahead of its competitors, which focus more on innovation and development of existing technology.
Below are short reviews for comparison of QCC implement in several of the company.
Students quality circle is the one of the examples to make sure the continuous improvement in either teaching or learning. Quality Circle consists of two basic management principles. Firstly, for the people experienced the effect of the decision should be contribute in making it. Secondly, the individual who experienced the situation have the greatest incentive and potential to improve it. Quality Circle is made up of two or more of students from the same group. They collect and analyze the problem they face. Identifying the root cause and then come up with the solution. Furthermore, Quality Circle maximizes quality control concepts, tools and technique for solving the problems.
There are various of benefits in this sector such as benefits of Quality Circle, benefits to the University, benefits to the Circle members, benefits to the Circle leaders and benefits for facilitators.
There are two types of industry, which is small and medium scale. Moreover, there are problems that will improve the quality, productivity, safety delivery time of their products and services when solved. Two names were called in some countries originated in Japan in year 1962, which is The Quality Circles (QCs) or Quality Control Circles (QCCs). They originally consist of forming groups of workers, which in common 8 to 12 working in similar areas to solve the problems via systematic approach. Hence, Quality Circle is a small group of employees doing similar work on shop floor, who voluntarily meet together on a regular basis to identify problems and suggest improvements in their respective work areas on shop floor.
The objectives of Quality Circles are a beautiful blend of individual and organizational objectives. They include change in attitude, self and mutual development that is development of team spirit, improvement in organizational culture as much as improving the productivity and performance of the organization.
In 2005, an assessment was done to resolve whether Quality Control Circle (QCC) done in service sector is better than in industry sector. Theoretically, QCC is like a supplement for blue collar workers than white collar workers. This research was done by distributing questionnaire. The questionnaire was mailed to several companies selected from National Productivity Cooperation (NPC) record to be answered by QCs members and non-members of each companies. 130 questionnaires were returned out of 300 distributed. The structure of the survey was extracted from Crocker (1984) in her previous study. There are five parts of the survey form which are technical aspects of QC, QC process, effectiveness of organization and employee contribution to the QC, QC and organization and background of the respondents. All these data were later scrutinized by using Bivariate Correlations and one way ANOVA.
The outcomes of this paper were industrial QCs displayed an enthusiastic behaviour than service QCs members. The industrial members held more meeting comparing to service members per month. Next, 66% of the QCs in service division had more experience comparing to 66% QCs in manufacturing division which may explain the keenness to held meeting less frequent. However, there are no notable contrast that both sectors have improved in term of problem solving skills. Service QC members feel that thy have contributed something and improved their organizations financial status compares to industry QC members. Furthermore, the industry QC members have reported to refine their communication and relationship
between colleague compare to their service counterparts by enrolling to this QC program.
Generally, it can be inferred that both service and industrial QCs have agreed that their companies and their works were fine. However, only service group is willing to increase their hard work towards company values and goals. The industry group is relatively younger than the other, which explain the great impact of QC program on the outcomes and attitude of the group. Finally, industrial QCs are keener than service QCs in terms of participation in QCs programs. Never the less, QCs in service is much aware of their offering towards companies financial than the other.
The study is regarding the outcome of quality control on Nestle Waters workers perceptive and behaviour. Descriptive research along with method like questionnaire, unstructured interviews, and documentary analysis were done in this research. For the questionnaire there are five parts which are technical portion of the QCC, QCC procedure, successfulness of the circle, general perception of QCC and company and finally respondents background. Statistical treatment was applied to analyse the data and answer the questions about the relationship of training adequacy to QC effectiveness and leadership in QCC. It was founded that training is helpful for everyone in the company to comprehend the importance of QCC.
Next, the employees gave satisfactory responses towards the QCC and company, thus proving their enthusiasm and willingness to put extra effort for the QCC. Third, the respondents realise the vitality of employees happiness and satisfaction about their job as it helps company to achieve their goals and values. The respondents appreciate that they are identified in the goal and values of the company. Finally, it can be deduced that the employees now believe that everyone is important. Everybody is contributing something to the company in order to achieve companys targets. Company should enhance the effort towards this programs that will increase staffs commitment and job satisfaction as well as devise rewards program to further motivate it members.
Based on the research, there are seven different types of basic principles of quality control circle, which are arrangement chart, causality diagram, histogram, control chart, dispersion pattern and deamination. There are several factors, which affects the lumber quality, grasp key aspects, about the improvement timber production quality and increase the production of the timber and its quality. A forestry bureau was been formed to solve the problem of work, which named as eagle-eyed group.
The group consists of a QCC leader, a group leader, an instructor. Data group, analysis group, general affairs group and document group works under the QCC leader. There were six factors affecting the timber production which are
weak bucking, weak management of forest resource, staff works level, weak management of electromechanical device, environment workplace and production technical guidance. The six factors were sorted based on a survey. Based on the sorting two main factors has the highest score which are weak bucking and the weak management of forest resources. For the weak management of forest resources, the forestry unit has found bad resource management phenomena based on survey. The forestry unit has found main problem for weak bucking through massive log investigation. There are few solution for solve the problem of the weak management of forest resource which are make a target, appoint a person to verify the cutting area, cutting number and registration, and formulate pick the logging name plate system. For the weak bucking, the forestry unit has identify few solution to overcome the problem which are the staffs should be well trained, the staffs have to observe certain criteria before design the lumber and use the high quality timbers. In conclusion, the QCC has improved on the two main factors, which was affecting the quality and production of the timber.
Quality Control Circle (QCC) has being applied to various industries to improve quality and productivity through different technique of identifying problems and generating alternatives. It can be concluded the QCC method is a very efficient to be implement in the industries to improve the quality and productivity. The method is simple but very effective since it does not require a high level of technological facilities or managerial abilities or financial investment. However, to use this approach, it need high teamwork and cooperation because one of the reason the quality circle method fail to be implement is because of poor teamwork. This failure can be eliminate through bonding and team building among the team
Quality circle programs are very simple. It does not overlap company structures. They are adapted to each problem that appears. The biggest challenges appear at middle level where there is fear for lack of justification of authority. Quality circles do not undermine decision- making hierarchy in a company because they are work groups, creative and solution oriented, trying to find solutions to improve quality. They strengthen the structure of an organization, enriching and humanizing work, giving decision-making power to lower levels.
In this way, employees become more responsible, more careful and more involved in work when they feel appreciated thus increasing work productivity. The success of the quality circle movement is definitely a collective effort and involvement of both the management and employees.
International Engineering, vol. 84, 2003.
Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Technology (IJMET), vol. 8, no. 12, pp. 800-816, 2017.
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A case study of hybrid manufacturing of a Ti-6Al-4V titanium alloy hip prosthesis
- ORIGINAL ARTICLE
- Open access
- Published: 09 November 2023
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- António José Festas ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-3335-860X 1 ,
- Daniel Amaral Figueiredo ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-5697-4344 1 ,
- Sílvia Ribeiro Carvalho ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-7500-3869 1 ,
- Thang Hoang Vo ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-5858-7743 2 ,
- Pierre-Thomas Doutre ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0001-8525-7830 2 ,
- François Villeneuve ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-9040-7634 2 ,
- António Manuel Ramos ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-6174-8878 1 , 3 &
- João Paulo Davim ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-5659-3111 1
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Hybrid manufacturing (HM) is a process that combines additive manufacturing (AM) and subtractive manufacturing (SM). It is becoming increasingly recognized as a solution capable of producing components of high geometric complexity, while at the same time ensuring the quality of the surface finish, rigour and geometric tolerance on functional surfaces. This work aims to study the surface finish quality of an orthopaedic hip resurfacing prosthesis obtained by HM. For this purpose, test samples of titanium alloy Ti-6Al-4V using two Power Bed Fusion (PBF) processes were manufactured, which were finished by turning and 5-axis milling. It was verified that, upon the machining tests, no differences in Ra and Rt were found between the various types of AM. Regarding the type of SM used, 5-axis milling provided lower roughness results with a consistent value of Ra = 0.6 µm. The use of segmented circle mills in 5-axis milling proved to be an asset in achieving a good surface finish. This work successfully validated the concept of HM to produce a medical device, namely, an orthopaedic hip prosthesis.
As far as surface quality is concerned, it could be concluded that the optimal solution for this case study is 5-axis milling.
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Hybrid manufacturing (HM) comprises the manufacture of a component or part in a sequence of production stages where the transition between additive manufacturing (AM) methods and subtractive manufacturing (SM) methods occurs [ 1 ]. The use of a sequence of the two manufacturing methods mentioned above allows the obtaining of parts or components of high geometric complexity, dimensional precision and surface finish [ 1 , 2 ].
The use of 3D printing, also known as AM, has resulted in increased prominence and importance for the application of HM methods in creating medical devices [ 3 , 4 ]. The use of AM, in which the part is manufactured by fusing the material in layers, allows obtaining more intricate geometry components otherwise impossible to be achieved by SM. The production of components, such as orthopaedic implants, customized for each patient will enhance its integration, leading to a significant decrease in manufacturing time and material usage [ 5 , 6 ].
Several AM processes are currently available, including electron beam melting (EBM) and selective laser sintering (SLS), both of which fit into the powder bed type of fusion (PBF) processes. The production process in this type of manufacturing involves using either a laser or electron beam to melt the powder, layer by layer to, in order to produce the component [ 7 ]. Among the AM processes, those of PBF are widely regarded as the most suitable for implant fabrication, as they allow the manufacture of components with porosity, which is a crucial factor for osseointegration and consequent success of the surgical intervention [ 8 ].
To prevent corrosion of the manufactured parts, EBM is carried out in a vacuum chamber which limits the size of the parts. Due to a larger beam, EBM allows for higher productivity but with poor surface finish. On the other hand, SLS, the beam, can be adjusted to the required speed or accuracy; however, the high internal stresses in the fabricated parts require post-treatment such as annealing to relieve these residual stresses. Comparing the two processes, the parts obtained by EBM have greater hardness and less porosity [ 9 , 10 ].
Despite the benefits afforded to manufacturing by AM, certain limitations remain regarding repeatability, high dimensional accuracy, good surface finish and high productivity [ 11 , 12 , 13 ]. To fulfil functional requirements, a complementary manufacturing method, such as SM, may be necessary to obtain a part with all the requirements for its use.
In SM methods, excess material is removed by milling, turning or drilling operations. The use of CNC allows to achieve high levels of dimensional accuracy or tolerance and to improve surface quality [ 14 , 15 , 16 , 17 ]. However, this process is limited by the inability to achieve highly complex geometries, an economic factor related to material waste and work preparation. In the case of machining designated hard-cutting materials such as titanium alloys, the machining time and the cost of tools are increased due to the premature wear caused by this type of material [ 18 , 19 ].
Although a few reviews about hybrid manufacturing can be found such as Jayawardane et al. [ 20 ] about sustainability perspectives, Popov et al. [ 21 ] about HM of steels and alloys and Lauwers et al. [ 22 ] on hybrid processes in manufacturing and the accessibility of AM equipment is increasing, it is not common in the literature to find case studies of hybrid manufacturing such as that of Loyda et al., [ 17 ] where an experimental study on the manufacturing of an aerospace component was conducted, specifically a titanium load-bearing bracket through hybrid manufacturing. A laser power bed fusion (LPBF) was used followed by 5-axis milling. Findings indicated that the combination of these two manufacturing processes allowed for the creation of a lightweight component with complex geometry and met the requirements for surface quality and dimensional tolerance in the functional areas. Ahmad et al. [ 23 ] studied the role of porosity in the machinability of AM and compared it with wrought Ti-6Al-4V and concluded that a higher porosity level is negatively influential in tool life and surface roughness. Lizzul et al. [ 24 ] studied the anisotropy effect on the surface quality of milled AM Ti-6Al-4V test samples and concluded that better machinability is attained for horizontal orientation. Dabwan et al. [ 25 ] studied the effect of layer orientation on turning a complex profile produced by EBM and found that surface finish and integrity are improved, but chip thickness is higher and flank wear has a higher degree for components manufactured along across-layer orientation.
Therefore, and in the context of HM, this study aimed to manufacture a resurfacing-type prosthesis. For the initial phase, EBM and SLS were used to produce the primary shape, which was then machined by turning and 5-axis milling to machine the surface that is in contact with the acetabular component. Surface quality was considered the indicator of the work performed and the quality obtained.
The novelty of the presented work is the application of HM methods in the production of a frequently used medical device, namely a titanium alloy hip prosthesis. This is achieved through the combination of two AM processes and two SM processes, with an emphasis on 5-axis machining and the use of segmented circle mills. The study, while providing information that is still limited in the literature in this field, enabled to enhance the understanding of HM with tangible findings, which could support not only forthcoming research in this particular domain but also have potential for industrial implementation.
2 Experimental methodology
The work here presented is a case study based on an experimental approach to machining issues in titanium alloy components obtained through two distinct AM processes. The combination of these characteristics constitutes the added value and originality of this work in the field of scientific research.
The sequence of works carried out is represented in Fig. 1 . Starting with the design of the prosthesis model, followed by the production by EBM and SLS and then ensuing machining by turning and 5-axis milling, the cutting parameters were chosen as recommended by the cutting tool manufacturer. The surface quality was measured previously and after machining tests with the use of an optical profiler. The strategy that best suits the intended objective was chosen based on the analysis of the results obtained where the determining factor was the lowest roughness value.
2.2 Materials and test samples
The piece to be machined was based on a resurfacing-type prosthesis used in total hip arthroplasty. The model used for this work has no other purpose than to serve for machining tests and was based in commercial implants design. The standard dimension for the outer diameter was defined as of 57 mm. In AM production, 1 mm was added to the radius and then removed by SM. The design of the model for machining was based on the DUROM™ model that dates back to 1997 and has been used clinically since 2001 without any modifications to its geometry. This model was created by optimizing previous models that had a history of poor performance leading to implant loosening and femoral neck fractures [ 26 ].
The test samples, made of titanium alloy Ti-6Al-4V, used in this work were obtained by EBM and SLS. For the intended purpose, 4 samples of each process were produced. The SLS test samples were produced in a General Electric M1, and the EBM in an ARCAM A1. The parameters selected are those that ensure the best material health. They are recommended by the machine manufacturers for the TA6V and the geometry to be produce. Previous experiments evaluated the production quality of geometries with suspended elements in Ti-6Al-4V alloy using additive manufacturing [ 27 ]. The manufacturing parameters of both EBM and SLS processes are in Table 1 .
Figure 2 displays a simplified CAD drawing of the model including general dimensions, and a scheme of the machining tests (Mt) location on the test sample. There are also images of two test samples for each AM process, in which the surface texture differences and scaffold removal marks can be observed and an example of the geometric deviation of an SLS test sample compared to the CAD model. Manufacturing defects are visible, particularly at the end opposite the bone fixation rod. These defects are attributable to the printing process of the test samples, in which, due to the spherical outer geometry, it was necessary to build support scaffolding. The scaffolding was later removed, and it is apparent that the EBM test samples exhibit more pronounced marks as well as the deformation caused by these scaffolds than the SLS test samples. Additionally, the material used in SLS testing undergoes shrinkage during the cooling phase after melting [ 28 ]. The contraction will be higher where there is a higher concentration of fused material. This is particularly true in the region where scaffolds are utilized to support the part’s production, resulting in an increased amount of fused material. Consequently, the contraction in this area will be more substantial. In the case of components produced by EBM, the observed deformations are not of thermal origin but rather by the type of geometry that promotes the presence of unsupported surfaces despite the introduction of scaffolds during the manufacturing process. Regarding the dimensions, while in the internal geometries, there was a very satisfactory accuracy with differences of approximately 0.1 mm compared to the CAD model sent for manufacture. However, the external surfaces exhibited a discrepancy of approximately 0.5 mm less concerning the desired additive manufacturing dimension. The comparative analysis of the CAD model was carried out using GOM’s Atos Q 3D measuring equipment.
Resurfacing prosthesis model, SLS and EBM test samples and an example of geometric deviations of an SLS test sample
2.3 Machine tools, cutting tools and cutting parameters
2.3.1 machine tools.
For the milling tests, a Haas UMC 500 5-axis machining center was used, with 22.4 kW of power, 10,000 rpm of maximum speed and a maximum cutting feedrate of 16.5 m/min. Similar to that performed in the turning tests, in the 5-axis milling tests, 4 machining regions were considered in each test piece.
For the turning test, a Kingsbury MHP50 turning center was used, with 18 kW of power and 4000 rpm of maximum speed. In this case, the finished surface was achieved after two passes of the cutting tool, one for pre-finishing and the other for finishing. The first pass created a standard surface by eliminating the major surface defects obtained by AM.
2.3.2 Cutting tools
For milling tests, a circle segmented or lens mill was used, with a 10-mm cylindrical shank, a tip radius of 20 mm with a 1-mm corner radius and 3 cutting edges and AlCrN 3 µm PVD-HiPIMS coating (HXD30GLENS 3 100 10 R20 from Palbit( www.palbit.pt )). The tool manufacturer recommends that the tool be oriented 8° off the main axis orthogonal to the surface of the part to avoid cutting at the center of the tool where the cutting speed is 0. This condition is possible to be achieved through the CAM software. For the turning tests, a 55º rhombic carbide insert was used, with 0.8 mm of tool tip radius, a 15° back rake angle, negative GS chip breaker and TiAlSiN 3 µm PVD-HiPIMS coating (DNMG 110408-GS PHH910 from Palbit cutting tools).
Figure 3 presents the machine tools and cutting tools used in the machining tests.
a Kingsbury MHP50 turning center, b HAAS UMC 500 machining center, c turning insert DNMG 110408-GS PHH910 geometry, d mill cutter HXD30GLENS 3 100 10 R20 geometry.
2.3.3 Cutting parameters
While the cutting speed, feedrate and machining strategy were maintained the same; on the milling cutting test, a different radial depth of cut ( a e ) was considered. The values of a e chosen for the milling tests were based on the feedrate values of the turning tests. When executing the CAM program using Powermill, a helical cutting strategy was defined to ensure identical tool displacement along the part during milling and turning. In this way, for each value of f r , there is a corresponding identical value of a e . Therefore, even though two different machining processes were used, it was possible to have identical tool paths on the material surface, allowing comparison of the obtained roughness values obtained. Table 2 presents the machining test planning and cutting parameters.
Due to the surface defects observed in the test samples in both AM processes, with greater relevance in the EBM, it was necessary to perform a surface normalization of the specimens used in the milling tests with a cutting pass. This operation aimed to guarantee a constant depth of cut ( a p ) and a e to be removed by the tool and thus avoid unexpected changes in this parameter which could potentially compromise tool integrity and to ensure surface evenness.
To calculate the spindle speed, the value of the cutting speed and the tool diameter are required. By default, for the control of the cutting speed, the effective diameter of the cut was considered and corresponding to the cutting diameter at cutting depth ( a p ). Figure 4 shows the positional relationship between the cutting tool and the test piece, as well as the dimensions of this relationship. The angle α had to be determined using the cosine Eq. ( 1 ). By adding the 8º deviation imposed on the tool axis to this value, it was possible to establish Eq. ( 2 ) the maximum contact radius and thus the diameter of the contact.
where a = 28.5 mm, b = 20 mm and c = 48.3 mm. It was then possible to determine that α = 6.28°. Adding 8° from tool tilt angle, and considering 20 mm from tool radius, then R = 4.9 mm then Ø = 9.8 mm.
Cutting tool radius calculation
For each milling test, a new tool was used, and for each turning section, a new cutting edge was applied. In total, 4 cutters and 4 turning inserts were used, where each insert has 4 cutting edges. For the execution of the machining tests, it was necessary to build an aluminium positioning and fixation device, to perform as a zero-point system, that allowed the test samples to be held always in the same position. The fixation of these to the device was performed through a screwed connection on the fixation rod. To machine the internal thread, it was necessary to make a hole, an operation that was done through helical milling [ 29 ]. The function of this device was to minimize positioning errors, or to ensure that the error was consistent across all the machining tests. Also, it was designed so that it could be used for both turning and 5-axis milling tests.
All milling and turning machining tests were conducted with the use of a water emulsion coolant containing emulsifying oil (RHENUS FU 51) at a concentration of 6%.
2.4 Surface roughness
Surface roughness measurements were taken before and after machining using an Alicona Infinity Focus SL optical 3D measurement system with 10 × objective. For this work, three roughness parameters were analyzed: arithmetical mean height (Ra), total height of profile (Rt) and areal average roughness (Sa). Due to the high surface roughness of the surfaces generated by the additive manufacturing processes, measuring the roughness using a contact roughness meter is not advisable as it may lead to damage the roughness meter’s contact gauges. Thus, it is advisable to use the optical measuring equipment such as the one used in this phase of the work. Figure 5 presents the initial state of the surfaces prior to any machining operation. To quantify the roughness of the surfaces, several measurements were taken. For SLS, Ra = 4.61 µm, Rt = 32.11 µm and Sa = 5.58 µm; for EBM, Ra = 14.94 µm, Rt = 84.78 µm and Sa = 18.82 µm.
SLS and EBM pre-machining surfaces
2.5 Statistical analysis
As shown in Fig. 6 , after the roughness measurements, the dataset was uploaded to statistical software R (v4.0.3) for further analysis. Paired hypothesis testing was employed to understand if there was a noteworthy difference in the surface finish (Ra, Rt, Sa) of EBM and SLS samples obtained through turning and milling operations. The samples were paired in four ways, (1) milling samples of EBM and SLS, (2) turning samples of EBM and SLS, (3) EBM samples processed by turning and milling and (4) SLS samples that underwent turning and milling. In addition, the following null hypotheses were considered: “Is there no significant difference in the roughness of (1) milled surfaces attained with EBM and SLS? (2) turned surfaces attained with EBM and SLS? (3) EBM samples attained with turning and milling? (4) SLS samples attained with turning and milling?”.
Methodology for roughness data treatment and analysis
As presented in Fig. 6 , the null hypothesis ( H 0 ) was rejected in favour of the alternative hypothesis ( H 1 ) when the p-value from the relevant test statistic, be it paired t test, or Wilcoxon test was either less than or equal to the defined significance level. Otherwise, when the p-value > 0.05, the null hypothesis was not rejected. Figure 5 also shows that, when the paired differences followed a normal distribution, the paired t test was applied; otherwise, the non-parametric Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used to assess if the paired groups were different from one another in a statistically significant manner. The normality of the paired samples was examined using the Shapiro–Wilk test.
3 Results and discussion
In Fig. 7 , it is possible to observe the evolution of the roughness values Ra and Rt and Sa obtained through the turning ( T ) and milling ( M ) machining tests.
Roughness results a Ra, b Rt and c Sa for EBM and SLS test samples in turning ( T ) and milling ( M )
By examining the images presented, it is possible to make several different observations. The measured roughness values consistently surpass those found in milling during turning. This stands for the three roughness parameters employed for comparison.
Additionally, it is evident that turning the influence of the variant cutting parameter is more pronounced than in the case of milling. As can be seen, roughness in turning increases with the increase in feedrate. In the case of milling, roughness values remain almost constant even with an increase in feedrate.
The effects and importance of the impact of tool geometry parameters, namely tool nose radius variation on the surface finish of a machined part, have been widely researched, highlighting its significance and effects [ 30 ]. In the case presented here, where two tools with different geometries have been used with a distinguishable element as evident as the nose radius, it is appropriate to establish a correlation between this factor and the outcomes obtained. Consequently, in accordance with previous literature, it can be surmised that [ 31 ] it can be confirmed that the tool nose radius dimension has an inversely proportional influence on the roughness of a machined part surface.
It is notable that for the same type of subtractive manufacturing process, the type of additive manufacturing process does not have a significant impact on the measured roughness results.
Figure 8 displays diverse images of the machined surfaces for both additive manufacturing and of subtractive manufacturing types. The presented images, obtained through Alicona Infinity, relate to the tests conducted with a e = 0.1 mm for milling ( M ) and f r = 0.1 mm/rev for turning ( T ). In the case of turning, both for EBM and SLS, the displacement of the tool over the surface results in a distinct patterned texture with continuous and evenly spaced lanes from the cutting tool. In the case of milling, different effects can be observed for each additive manufacturing process. In the case of EBM, it is verifiable, similarly to turning, with some regularity in the marks left by the tool, however with shorter segments compared to turning. In the case of SLS, the formation of facets without any regular distribution is observable.
Topographic analysis of machined surfaces by turning ( T ) and milling ( M )
Figure 9 shows a side-by-side comparison of the surface images taken before machining, labelled “raw”, with those taken after milling ( M ) and turning ( T ) tests.
3D microscopic analysis of the raw and machined surfaces by turning ( T ) and milling ( M )
Regarding machining times, those observed in the turning tests exhibited significant superiority compared to those of 5-axis milling. Consequently, during turning, the following times were registered based on the conducted test: Mt1 ≈ 5 s, Mt2 ≈ 7 s, Mt3 ≈ 7 s, Mt4 ≈ 7 s. Correspondingly, in milling, the following times were recorded: Mt1 ≈ 8 min, Mt2 ≈ 19 min, Mt3 ≈ 28 min and Mt4 ≈ 27 min. It is evident that for this particular geometry, turning has a much higher productivity rate than milling.
3.1 Data analysis
Figure 10 shows a boxplot visualization with the distribution for the surface roughness of printed samples (SLS and EBM) machined with milling and turning operations. Yellow squares ( f r , 0.05 mm/rev; a e , 0.05 mm), blue circles (f r , 0.10 mm/rev; a e , 0.1 mm), red triangles (f r , 0.15 mm/rev; a e , 0.15 mm) and green crosses (f r , 0.2 mm/rev; a e , 0.2 mm) represent measurements from surfaces machined under the same feed rate (turning) and radial depth-of-cut (milling), each with a distinct colour and symbol.
Roughness distribution (Ra, Rt and Sa) of turning samples ( a – c ), milling samples ( d – f ), EBM samples ( g – i ) and SLS samples ( j – l )
Figure 10 a–c indicates that roughness measurements for surfaces achieved by turning are grouped by colour, corresponding to the feed rate. Conversely, the distribution of the milling samples does not present the same tendency, as shown in Fig. 10 d–f. It is well known that the surface roughness in turning depends on the feed rate ( f r ), which had four levels (0.05, 0.1, 0.15 and 0.2 mm/rev) in this work, while in milling, it varies on the feed per tooth ( f z ), which was constant during the process (0.03 mm/rev). On the other hand, the higher corner radius (20 mm) from the milling tools comparatively to the turning inserts (0.8 mm) contributed to reducing the roughness of the milling samples, as shown in Fig. 10 g–i and j–l. In fact, for EBM samples, for example, one can see that the average arithmetical mean height (Sa) for the milling samples was 0.7 ± 0.1 µm, while for the turning samples, it was 1.1 ± 0.3 µm.
The turning data from Fig. 10 presents a lower variability in Sa distribution per cluster compared to the arithmetical mean height of a line (Ra), the Sa. For example, in the case of the SLS samples (Fig. 10 a and c), the difference between the maximum and minimum Ra measurements was 0.17, 0.11, 0.14 and 0.32 µm for a feed rate of 0.05, 0.1, 0.15 and 0.2 mm/rev, respectively, while for Sa, it was 0.10, 0.10, 0.09 and 0.12 µm. This outcome was expected since the arithmetical mean height of an area (Sa) provides a greater amount of information from the surface than the arithmetical mean height of a line (Ra). As a result, it is less prone to be affected outliners, such as surface defects. Another relevant remark regards the Rt parameter distribution for the turning and SLS samples, Fig. 10 b and c, respectively, in which some outliners were observed. Since Rt is a geometrical parameter that evaluates the maximum peak-to-valley height over the evaluation length, it is more prone to detecting surface defects than the other parameters (Sa, Ra), which accounts for the presence of these outliners.
As mentioned before, the statistical inference was applied to assess how the combination between AM processes (SLS and EBM) and SM methods (turning or milling) would affect or not the surface roughness (Ra, Rt, Sa) of the part. It is worth mentioning that, when the paired differences followed a normal distribution, the parametric paired t test was used to compare the means; otherwise, the non-parametric Wilcoxon test was applied to compare the medians.
When evaluating whether altering the turning material, particularly when EBM or SLS samples would affect the achieved surface roughness, it was found that this would rely on the roughness parameter in analysis. Thereby, for Ra ( p = 0.47) and Rt ( p = 0.52), the median differences (Wilcoxon test) were not statistically significant. Nevertheless, for Sa ( p = 0.04), the mean differences (paired t test) proved to be statistically significant. That as expected, the obtained outcomes agree with the distributions from Fig. 10 a–c. Lastly, these findings emphasize the importance of combining linear (Ra, Rt) and spatial (Sa) roughness parameters for the evaluation of surface finish in biomedical components.
Regarding the samples processed by milling, it was found that altering the material that is EBM or SLS samples led to noteworthy variations in the mean surface roughness. The p -values attained in the paired t test were 0.01 for Ra and Rt and 0.002 for Sa. Actually, by observing the distribution from Fig. 10 d–f, it is possible to see that the SLS samples presented much lower mean and median values than the EBM samples. Finally, under the tested conditions, the milling process exhibited greater responsiveness to material changes, resulting in a higher surface roughness than turning.
Similarly, the surface finish response of the EBM samples was found to depend on the roughness parameter when changing the processing strategy, i.e. turning or milling. Thereby, for Ra ( p = 0.06) and Rt ( p = 0.34), the differences (median and mean, respectively) were not statistically significant; however, for Sa ( p = 0.0001), it was statistically significant. It should be noted that as expected, these results agree with the distributions from Fig. 10 g–i. Additionally, this finding emphasizes the Sa responsiveness relative to the linear parameters. Lastly, the Sa distribution from Fig. 10 i shows that turning produced greater surface roughness in EBM samples compared to milling.
In the case of the SLS samples, it was observed that for Ra ( p = 0.0043) and Sa ( p = 0.00002), the median differences were statically significant when changing the processing strategy, that is, turning or milling, while for Rt ( p = 0.0789), it did not present a significant difference. Similarly, to the observations made from the EBM samples, the turning process led to rougher surfaces for SLS samples, as illustrated in the Ra and Sa distribution from Fig. 10 j and l. Finally, the results demonstrate that, under the tested conditions, the EBM and SLS samples responded similarly to the processing changes involving turning and milling regarding surface roughness. More precisely, the respective statistical significances of the Sa and Rt differences varied altering the process for both material samples.
This work aimed to conduct a comparative experimental study of the manufacture of a resurfacing type prosthesis in titanium alloy Ti-6Al-4V using hybrid manufacturing. For this purpose, test samples produced through EBM and SLS were used, subsequently subjected to machining by turning and 5-axis milling. The potential for producing highly complex geometric parts using AM validates its use as a manufacturing process. Nevertheless, the extreme heterogeneity in terms of surface finish, mainly caused by the process itself, restricts its use in applications requiring high accuracy dimensional and geometric. To address this limitation and meet the mentioned requirements, it is essential to use SM processes that must be suitable for the final geometry of the part to be produced.
Regarding surface finish, irrespective of the SM process used, it was found that, if the roughness evaluation parameters Ra and Rt are taken into account, there were no discernible differences between components produced either by SLS or by EBM. However, according to the Sa parameter, the SLS test samples had better roughness results. Therefore, considering this evaluation parameter, the choice of AM process must be made taking into account the advantages and disadvantages of each process and its suitability in ensuring the required quality of the finished product.
Concerning the SM process, it was verified that turning the roughness is directly dependent on the feedrate ( f r ), while in milling, the a e has a minor influence on roughness; this findings are coherent to other results found in literature [ 32 ]. Also, this is related to the fact that in this work, segmented circle cutters were used, also referred to as lens cutters, in 5-axis milling. The results demonstrate that this option provides several advantages compared to traditional ball cutters, based on the achieved surface finish [ 33 ]. The primary reason for the discrepancy in roughness outcomes between turning and milling was due to the use of a segmented circle milling cutter which has a much larger nose radius compared to the turning insert. In a direct comparison, the use of a larger radius on the cutting edge of the milling tool has a direct influence on the chip thickness of the material removed, thereby leading to a reduction in heat generation. This particular factor can prove beneficial in enhancing the machinability of Ti alloys and the capabilities of the processes.
When it comes to production time, turning results in a faster production rate, while 5-axis milling enables the creation of components with superior surface finish and complex geometries. This is particularly favourable for customized orthopaedic components.
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The authors acknowledge “Project No. 031556-FCT/SAICT/2017”; FAMASI – Sustainable and intelligent manufacturing by machining financed by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), POCI, Portugal, in the scope of TEMA, Centre for Mechanical Technology and Automation – UID/EMS/00481/2013.
The authors would also like to thank Palbit for all the support given, both supplying the cutting tools and the availability to use their equipment. They would also like to acknowledge the support given by the companies S3D in digitizing the test samples and DimLaser in providing the SLS test samples
Open access funding provided by FCT|FCCN (b-on). This research was not supported by any funding.
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Department of Mechanical Engineering, Campus Santiago, University of Aveiro, 3810-193, Aveiro, Portugal
António José Festas, Daniel Amaral Figueiredo, Sílvia Ribeiro Carvalho, António Manuel Ramos & João Paulo Davim
University of Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, Grenoble INP, G-SCOP, 38000, Grenoble, France
Thang Hoang Vo, Pierre-Thomas Doutre & François Villeneuve
Biomechanics Research Lab, TEMA, University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal
António Manuel Ramos
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AF: experimental work, conceptualization, methodology, writing—original draft preparation; DF: experimental work; SC: experimental work, writing; TV: experimental work; P-TD: experimental work; FV: experimental work; AR: conceptualization, supervision; J.PD: conceptualization, supervision.
Correspondence to António José Festas .
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Festas, A.J., Figueiredo, D.A., Carvalho, S.R. et al. A case study of hybrid manufacturing of a Ti-6Al-4V titanium alloy hip prosthesis. Int J Adv Manuf Technol (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00170-023-12621-5
Received : 21 July 2023
Accepted : 27 October 2023
Published : 09 November 2023
DOI : https://doi.org/10.1007/s00170-023-12621-5
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