Title: A computer-aided tool to quickly analyse variabilities in flexible assemblies in different design scenarios

Authors: Pasquale Franciosa; Salvatore Gerbino; Stanislao Patalano

Addresses: University of Molise, Via Duca degli Abruzzi, 86039 Temoli (CB), Italy ' University of Molise, Via Duca degli Abruzzi, 86039 Temoli (CB), Italy ' University of Naples, Federico II, P.le Tecchio 80, 80125 Naples, Italy

Abstract: In automotive and aeronautic fields, controlling the final shape of flexible assemblies (with sheet metal parts) is a key issue. Even assuming as known the shape errors in single manufactured parts, the assembly process can cause wide variability due to their flexibility and to the choice of fixtures and clamps as well as to the fastening technique adopted. Here it is strategic to analyse different assembly configurations at the beginning of the design phase and chose the one that assures less variability on the key characteristics to be achieved. This paper presents a FEM-based computer tool able to statistically analyse variations occurring in assembly processes of flexible parts. After assigning fixtures, clamping points, fastening joints and assembly sequence, the tool quickly outputs the statistical variability of the key characteristics. It is so possible to span a variety of design solutions predicting failures and controlling final variations. A case study will show how it works.

Keywords: flexible assembly; fixture configurations; computer aided tolerancing; finite element analysis; FEA; statistical variability; variation analysis; clamping points; fastening joints; assembly sequencing; assembly design.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPD.2013.053496

International Journal of Product Development, 2013 Vol.18 No.2, pp.112 - 133

Received: 08 Mar 2012
Accepted: 02 Nov 2012

Published online: 20 Sep 2014 *

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