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Machining Technology


Manufacturing involves conversion of raw materials into usable products using various manufacturing processes and techniques. Many of these processes involve machining or material removal and machine tools on which these processes are carried out. Machining, traditionally known as metal cutting, has always played and continues to play an important role in the creation of modern products and development of civilization, therefore fundamental knowledge of machining and machine tool technology is important for manufacturing engineers.
For a manufacturing business dependent on machining and machine tools, achieving the end results in terms of product cost, quality and delivery entail the application of the most appropriate machining technology. Machining, can be viewed as system comprising three fundamental components:
• Work-piece
• Machine tool
• Cutting tool
Knowledge of diverse aspects of these three components and their interactions is of paramount importance for efficient and economic machining.

This course aims to provide an in-depth comprehension of machining technology including, the fundamental aspects of machining (conventional and non-conventional) processes and cutting tools, the most widely used type of CNC machine tools and their applications pertaining to material removal processes, as well as synthesis of support systems used on these machines for particular applications. In addition, it provides participants with systematic procedures for specifications and selection of machine tools.


On successful completion, participants will be able to:

  • Select with justification and/or critically evaluate conventional and advanced material removal processes using their detailed knowledge and understanding of fundamental aspects of machining processes and systems.
  • Compare, evaluate and make recommendations for cutting tools and/or cutting tool technologies for use in conventional and advanced material removal processes applications.
  • Compare and critically evaluate the most widely used types of modern machine tools for a given conventional or advanced machining application.
  • Synthesise or analyse a manufacturing system for a given machining application including but not limited to elements such as machine tool support systems, tool management, cutting fluid management, probing systems and machine tool part programming strategies.
  • Critically evaluate, specify and select machine tools and their support tool systems using a systematic methodology.


  • Introduction
  • Fundamentals of Machining
  • Cutting Tools and Selection
  • Machining Laboratory Demos
  • Machinability
  • Machining Centres
  • Turning Centres
  • Laser, Electro Discharge and Electro Chemical Machining & Machine Tools
  • High Speed Machining
  • Probing Systems
  • Tool Management
  • Cutting fluid fundamentals and management
  • Machining Process Planning & Fixturing
  • Specification and Selection of Machine Tools
  • Case Study: Cutting tool selection/Machine tool specifications & Selection
  • Visit to a Machine Tool Builder


4000 word assignment 90% of final assessment, plus 10% in-module assessment


1 week (24 hours of lectures, 3 hours of demonstrations, 8 hours of practical classes and 5 hours of external visits)

This is an elective module on the MSc Manufacturing Systems Engineering and Management.

Please note: the details of this module are correct for the current year of study and may be subject to change for future years.