Grid‐enabled collaborative virtual assembly environment

Yong Hu (Institute of CIM, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, People's Republic of China and Shanghai Key Lab of Advanced Manufacturing Environment, Shanghai, People's Republic of China)
Dianliang Wu (Institute of CIM, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, People's Republic of China and Shanghai Key Lab of Advanced Manufacturing Environment, Shanghai, People's Republic of China)
Xiumin Fan (Institute of CIM, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, People's Republic of China and Shanghai Key Lab of Advanced Manufacturing Environment, Shanghai, People's Republic of China)
Xijin Zhen (Institute of CIM, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, People's Republic of China and Shanghai Key Lab of Advanced Manufacturing Environment, Shanghai, People's Republic of China)

Assembly Automation

ISSN: 0144-5154

Publication date: 28 September 2010

Abstract

Purpose

Owing to the numerous part models and massive datasets used in automobile assembly design, virtual assembly software cannot simulate a whole vehicle smoothly in real time. For this reason, implementing a new virtual assembly environment for massive complex datasets would be a significant achievement. The paper aims to focus on this problem.

Design/methodology/approach

A new system named “Grid‐enabled collaborative virtual assembly environment” (GCVAE) is proposed in the paper, and it comprises three parts: a private grid‐based support platform running on an inner network of enterprise; a service‐based parallel rendering framework with a sort‐last structure; and a multi‐user collaborative virtual assembly environment. These components would aggregate the idle resources in an enterprise to support assembly simulation with a large complex scene of whole vehicle.

Findings

The system prototype proposed in the paper has been implemented. The following simulations show that it can support a complex scene in a real‐time mode by using existing hardware and software, and can promote the efficient usage of enterprise resources.

Practical implications

Using the GCVAE, it is possible to aggregate the idle resources in an enterprise to run assembly simulations of a whole automobile with massively complex scenes, thus observably reducing fault occurrence rates in future manufacturing.

Originality/value

The paper introduces a new grid‐enabled methodology into research on collaborative virtual assembly system which can make the best use of idle resources in the enterprise to support assembly simulations with massively complex product models. A video‐stream‐based method was used to implement the system; this enables designers to participate ubiquitously in the simulation to evaluate the assembly of the whole automobile without hardware limitations.

Keywords

Citation

Hu, Y., Wu, D., Fan, X. and Zhen, X. (2010), "Grid‐enabled collaborative virtual assembly environment", Assembly Automation, Vol. 30 No. 4, pp. 352-364. https://doi.org/10.1108/01445151011075816

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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