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Product Design for Automated Manufacture and Assembly

Objective

The objectives of the project were to:
-provide the designer with information which would enable the design of products compatible with automated manufacturing and assembly systems
-investigate the alternative methods of making this information most readily available to the designer.
The objectives of the project were to provide the designer with information which would enable the design of products compatible with automated manufacturing and assembly systems, and to investigate the alternative methods of making this information most readily available to the designer. A set of design rules has been generated as the result of a detailed analysis of the constraints imposed by different automated and robot assembly techniques. These have been validated in the light of applications experience available from the industrial partners in the consortium. The design rules have been categorised under the following headings: part reduction, part quality, part production, part geometry and shape, and part handling. A set of design rules has also been developed to assist in the design of components intended for manufacture in a flexible machining cell. These have been categorised under the headings of standardization, tooling related, handling shape, dimensions, tolerances, and surface finish. A structured framework has been developed within which process capability data through a menu driven computer program which leads to the appropriate data under the following headings: linear dimensions, surface finish, geometric shapes and relationships. Initial work has been carried out to investigate the possibility of deriving some elements of product design information directly from the computer aided design (CAD) system. This has been shown to be possible, for example, in obtaining information on component symmetry, which is important in assessing the difficulty of handling and orientating parts during assembly operations. Consideration has been given to the use of an expert systems approach to the presentation of design rules to the designer. Six modules of design advice are available in an expert systems shell, covering product design for transportation, orientation, handling, insertion, structure and parts reduction.
A set of design rules has been generated as the result of a detailed analysis of the constraints imposed by different automated and robot assembly techniques. These have been validated in the light of applications experience available from the industrial partners in the consortium. The design rules have been categorised under the following headings: Part Reduction, Part Quality, Part Production, Part Geometry and Shape, and Part Handling.
A set of design rules has also been developed to assist in the design of components intended for manufacture in a flexible machining cell. These have been categorised under the headings of Standardisation, Tooling-Related, Handling Shape, Dimensions, Tolerances, and Surface Finish.
A structured framework has been developed within which process capability data can be stored. The designer is given access to the data through a menu-driven computer program which leads to the appropriate data under the following headings: Linear Dimensions, Surface Finish, Geometric Shapes and Relationships.
Initial work has been carried out to investigate the possibility of deriving some elements of product design information directly from the CAD system. This has been shown to be possible, for example, in obtaining information on component symmetry, which is important in assessing the difficulty of handling and orientating parts during assembly operations.
Consideration has been given to the use of an expert systems approach to the presentation of design rules to the designer. Six modules of design advice are available in an expert systems shell, covering product design for transportation, orientation, handling, insertion, structure and parts reduction.

Coordinator

Cranfield University
Address

MK43 0AL Cranfield
United Kingdom

Participants (3)

CIMAF - CENTRO DE COOPERACAO DOS INDUSTRIAIS DE MAQUINAS E FERRAMENTAS
Portugal
Address
Rua Manuel Pinto De Azevedo 439
4100 Porto
Comau SpA
Italy
Address
Via Rivalta 30
10095 Grugliasco Torino
RENAULT AUTOMATION
France
Address
Centre Commercial Parly Ii
78152 Le Chesnay