ISEM XXI again in Zürich

CIRP Conference on Electro Physical and Chemical Machining
From the 14th – 16th June 2022

For the second time in a row, it has been possible to bring ISEM back to Zurich as ISEM XXI. Thus giving due importance to Switzerland as a technology location for non-mechanical manufacturing technologies which are at the center of this conference.

While our manufacturing today, is predominantly characterized by mechanical technologies such as machining and forming, the non-mechanical technologies, e.g. electric discharge machining, laser cutting and additive manufacturing are often used when the mechanical technologies are at their end. Such situations occur, for example, when the workpiece materials are too hard, the geometries to be produced too complicated or, in short, when non-mechanical machining is simply more economically interesting in the respective batch size. Thus, they have unique selling points at the forefront of manufacturing and extremely high innovation potential. The processes operate mostly without contact and force, and it is not a geometric tool that determines the workpiece geometry, but an energy field. This means that the principle of hardness versus hardness, diamond versus diamond, material versus matter can be eliminated and replaced by the principle of energy versus matter, which is subject to completely different laws and boundary conditions. This way, components can be created that have completely new properties and thus implement new design principles. The knowledge and mastery of these processes is hence often decisive not only for the economic efficiency of a production process, but also for the competitiveness of a product on the market or of the company as a whole. The collective term non-conventional manufacturing processes also shows that these are still relatively young processes whose limits are far from being reached nor explored.

Switzerland has played and continues to play an important role internationally in the development and implementation of these processes. The machine tool industry in particular is a leader in laser technology, electric discharge machining, and thermal spraying. The essential developments for the industrialization of electric discharge machining took place in Switzerland. Therefore, it is a pleasure to see a foothold of this conference in Switzerland.

ISEM XXI is organized by the Institute of Machine Tools and Manufacturing (IWF) of ETH Zurich on behalf of the International Academy of Production Engineering (CIRP) in Zurich. After the previous conference was conducted entirely online, ISEM XXI will again have a significant on-site component, as innovation needs knowledge and experience exchange. CIRP is composed of members who have demonstrated excellence in research and includes 500 academic and industrial members from 50 industrialized countries. The aim of the Academy is to promote research and development in academia and industry, towards sustainable economic growth and welfare of society.

The main topics of the conference are electrical discharge machining (EDM), electrochemical machining (ECM), laser machining (LBM), chemical, hybrid and plasma processes, additive manufacturing (AM), electrodeposition, ultrasonic machining (USM) and waterjet cutting (AJM). The conference provides an opportunity for researchers, users and suppliers from academia and industry to present and share the latest applications, innovations and visions. Networking between academia and industry but also synergies between the individual processes summarized here plays an essential role in promoting future research and development.

The conference will take place over 3 days with strong international participation. On the evening before the conference, the participants can already get to know each other at a welcome Apéro in an informal setting. During the 3 conference days, the contributions of the participants and keynote speakers will be presented. A networking evening and a gala dinner are planned. The exchange of experience and knowledge is the main focus. On the day after the conference, there will also be the opportunity to visit local Swiss companies and research institutes.

The conference is organized every two years by a member of CIRP, and the scientific contributions are published in an open access journal “Procedia CIRP” by Elsevier, which is accessible online for conference participants.


ETH Zürich venue of ISEM XXI                   Aerial view, ETH Zurich, Zentrum            © ETH Zürich / Alessandro Della Bella

Laser cladding of valve housings

Simulation of laser cladding

Laser ablation of polycrystalline diamond

Electroerosive dressing of grinding wheels

Plasma of a single spark during electroerosion

Laser ablation for the production of tools from ultra-hard materials

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Swiss Machining