Department of Mechanical Engineering

Intelligent and Interoperable Manufacturing Systems (IIMS)

Providing industrial solutions to achieving an intelligent and interoperable manufacturing environment.

Intelligent and Interoperable Manufacturing Systems


Established in 1999, the Intelligent and Interoperable Manufacturing Systems (IIMS) research group is one of top research teams in the world conducting research on smart machining (e.g. STEP-compliant design and manufacturing), service-oriented manufacturing (e.g. cloud manufacturing) and customer-centric product design (e.g. product configuration and additive manufacturing).

The IIMS research group aims to provide industrial solutions for industry to achieving an intelligent and interoperable manufacturing environment. IIMS is now internationally recognised and has established extensive cooperation relationships with many research teams from overseas, research institutes and industries.




Welcome Mr Sergiusz Sobieski's visit to IIMS group

28th July, 2016

Mr. Sergiusz Sobieski, President of the Board of TIZ IMPLEMENTS, a cutting tool manufacturer in Warsaw, Poland, visited the IIMS group on 28 July, 2016. The objective of this visit is to exchange ideas about industry implementation and applications of STEP-NC related technologies.


Welcome Dr Ray Y. Zhong to IIMS group

1st June, 2016

Ray Y. Zhong was a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Department of Industry and Manufacturing Systems Engineering, The University of Hong Kong. His research interests include RFID applications, planning and scheduling, data mining and Internet of Manufacturing Things.




Smart machining

We work on developing next generation Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining systems centred around the deployment of STEP-NC to replace the 60-year-old G-code model for CNC machining. Unlike G-code, the STEP-NC model data brings design information such as feature and tolerance into execution of machining processes. This way, the machine tool is empowered with richer data for it to be smarter. The group has now established a strong base in this research field, which is internationally recognised as being in the vanguard of intelligent and interoperable manufacturing research.

Some projects include:

  • ŸSTEP-NC enabled intelligent machining and condition monitoring, energy-efficient machining, STEP-NC controller, STEP-NC based CNC machines control strategy, and CNC system
  • ŸSTEP-based model-based design and manufacturing
  • ŸCyber physical machine tools for smart manufacturing
  • ŸMachining simulation (including high-fidelity machining simulation and Web-based machining simulation)


Customer-centric product design

With concentrations on product configuration and development, and system development, including:

  • ŸProduct configuration system in a cloud environment
  • Design for additive manufacturing in a cloud environment
  • ŸConceptual design for mass personalisation in OKP companies
  • ŸDesign and development of novel hearing technology devices
  • ŸEnabling technology for rapid development of high value-added customised product
  • Knowledge management technologies to support product development in medium Sized high technology enterprises


Service-oriented manufacturing

With a focus on a newly emerging service-oriented manufacturing concept – cloud manufacturing, which extends the concept of Cloud Computing to manufacturing, so that their capabilities and resources are componentised, integrated, optimised and provisioned globally, creating a new industry paradigm. Topics include:

  • ŸResource service scheduling in cloud manufacturing
  • Design of a hybrid cloud manufacturing environment for rapid production of personalised products
  • ŸCloud Manufacturing in Modern Industry from an Industrie 4.0 Perspective
  • ŸOntology for Cloud-based Manufacturing
  • PRSS-based production control in Cloud manufacturing

Read more about IIMS research areas, partners, and publications here