Examines research work into the design and development of low‐to‐medium volume production systems. Outlines the aim to design a production unit capable of manufacturing a family of products, with a minimum amount of manual intervention. Investigates the use of flexible fixturing strategies using sensor‐based assembly techniques, and the concept of using modular fixture kits to locate and constrain the workpiece, including programmable conformable clamps. Looks at various assembly techniques and commercially available systems. Concludes that a number of novel assembly systems have been proposed and developed in the laboratory but that further research is needed to develop more advanced fixture design, task‐planning and analysis systems.
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