Department of Mechanical Engineering

Laboratory for Industry 4.0 Smart Manufacturing Systems

The overall purpose of this area is to develop innovative and practical solutions to problems in the manufacturing industry and, in particular, in small and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises in New Zealand.

Research is carried out often through a range of industry based projects employing modern hardware and software tools for optimising manufacturing.

The Intelligent and Interoperable Manufacturing Systems (IIMS) research unit within the group aims to provide solutions for industry to achieve 'intelligent and interoperable' manufacturing environments. A key to these environments is a STEP-compliant CAPP-CAM-CNC platform where STEP-NC is the enabling data model for CNC systems. The group has recently commenced research in areas such as Cyber-physical Systems (CPS), Industry 4.0, cloud manufacturing, additive manufacturing and 3D digitisation. For more information, please visit the IIMS page.

Software tools available for our research include:

  • Creo - a Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Manufacturing (CAM) and Engineering (CAE) tool.
  • Arena & Arena 3D Player - virtual manufacturing modelling and simulation tools.
  • EASE - a tool for optimising the industrial engineering aspects of manufacturing systems.
  • ErgoEASE - an ergonomic analysis tool for manufacturing systems.
  • ST-Developer - a set of software tools for working with STEP data and applications.
  • RapidForm – A 3D reverse engineering tool.

The Flexible Manufacturing Cell consists of two KUKA robots (payload 15 kg), a computer numerically controlled (CNC) lathe, a CVC mill and a conveyor system. Students in the department have opportunities to work in the cell. The lab is also equipped with 3D digitisation tools, eg, 3D laser scanner and 3D printers.



MECHENG 235 Design and Manufacturing 1
MECHENG 236 Design and Manufacturing 2
ENGGEN 204 Managing Design and Communication
MECHENG 334 Engineering Design 3M
MECHENG 352 Manufacturing Systems
MECHENG 731 Engineering Design 4M
MECHENG 752 Technology Management



MECHENG 753 Manufacturing Information Systems



Master of Engineering Management (MEMgt)

A wide range of topics in manufacturing (from analysis and design to implementation) are being offered. Use of modern software tools for optimising manufacturing CAD/CAM, Design for X, Concurrent Engineering - Creo - Ease, ErgoEase Virtual manufacturing simulation - Robot programming/applications, CNC Development, STEP-NC, Cloud manufacturing, Information Technology used for manufacturing control systems, Modern manufacturing technologies, e-Design; e-Manufacturing, ERP; MRP &MRP II, Enterprise Modelling, PDM, other web-based applications. Many of those projects are industry-based.



Industrial partners

Our industrial partners and collaborators include:

  • HERA
  • Fisher & Paykel
  • Maxwell Winches
  • Kohler
  • Robinson Industries
  • Keam Holdem
  • Adept Limited
  • Compac Sortin



Commercial services

The Manufacturing Systems research group operates within the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Auckland. In business matters we are represented by Auckland UniServices Limited, which is the commercial arm of the University.

Our services include:

  • Robotics training
  • CAD / CAM
  • Production planning
  • Service-oriented manufacturing
  • Automation applications
  • Discrete event simulation studies
  • CNC and STEP-NC applications
  • Product development
  • Reverse engineering








If you are interested in carrying out research with the Manufacturing Systems group please contact:

Professor Xun Xu
Phone: + 64 9 373 7599 ext 84527