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Article
Publication date: 27 February 2007

Mozafar Saadat

Abstract

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

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Article
Publication date: 2 October 2007

Mozafar Saadat, Roy Sim and Farid Najafi

This paper aims to present a method for predicting dimensional variation in assembly processes of a wingbox structure concentrating on the assembly of skin panels to rib feet.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present a method for predicting dimensional variation in assembly processes of a wingbox structure concentrating on the assembly of skin panels to rib feet.

Design/methodology/approach

Finite element modelling and experimental tests are conducted on the rib structure based on the site measurement gathered from the Airbus assembly factory.

Findings

The results have shown that the simulated model has the capability of predicting to an acceptable degree of accuracy the overall geometrical variations of the ribs and skin panels, as well as the positional variations of each individual rib foot.

Originality/value

The authors believe that no previous research has offered a similar prediction method for large aerostructures.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 27 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 27 February 2007

Richard Bloss

To examine how a very large order assembly system can be designed and commissioned to achieve a throughput of filling 2,400 order totes/h with medical prescription orders.

Abstract

Purpose

To examine how a very large order assembly system can be designed and commissioned to achieve a throughput of filling 2,400 order totes/h with medical prescription orders.

Design/methodology/approach

To combine RFID and bar code scanning, individual pill bottle handling, pill dispensing, pre‐packaged carton dispensing with some computer directed manual operations were key to meeting a goal of automatically filling tens of thousands of line items per day.

Findings

Combining automated pill dispensing with automated small item order filling and computer directed pick‐to‐light manual item picking results in a single integrated system. A careful design by experienced suppliers is important to achieving successful commissioning in a timely manner. Read/write RFID technology plays an important role in insuring accuracy and traceability of each prescription bottle.

Originality/value

Shows that complex order filling applications such as the highly regulated medical prescription filling can be automated to obtain improvements in accuracy and through put while reducing direct labor costs.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 27 February 2007

Patrick S.K. Chua

This paper aims to focus on the novel design and development of an automatic feeding system which is capable of feeding cylindrical parts which are fragile and powdery in…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to focus on the novel design and development of an automatic feeding system which is capable of feeding cylindrical parts which are fragile and powdery in nature and possess asymmetrical features such as a groove near to one end.

Design/methodology/approach

It is an active feeder, performing its task without having to reject any feeding part by performing active orientation of feeding parts that are in the undesired orientation. This design incorporating active orientating capability is aimed at 100 percent feeding efficiency. The system is controlled and driven by a programmable logic controller and electropneumatics.

Findings

System evaluation results showed that the average jam rate is below 5 percent and the percentage of correctly orientated parts is above 95 percent. With enhancement and fine tuning, the system could become a very useful feeder for industry in the future.

Research limitations/implications

The scope of this paper focuses on presentation of the design concept, development and evaluation of the feeder only and design calculations are not included.

Originality/value

This paper is of value to those who are involved in the manufacturing of small delicate and powdery engineering parts such as those providing performs to the semiconductor industry for encapsulation of integrated circuit chips.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 27 February 2007

Jiju Antony

This paper aims to present the results of a study carried out by the author in the form of a panel discussion on the topic – “Is Six Sigma another management fad or fact?”

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present the results of a study carried out by the author in the form of a panel discussion on the topic – “Is Six Sigma another management fad or fact?”

Design/methodology/approach

The approach taken for this paper was to form a panel of leading academics and practitioners who are familiar with the six sigma topic as well as general quality management/improvement fields.

Findings

The findings of this panel discussion was quite stimulating and the author believes that this will be extremely useful to both researchers and practitioners of six sigma.

Research limitations/implications

One limitation of this panel discussion was that majority of the people who participated in this study come from the USA. It would have been better to have different views from other parts of the world such as China, Sweden, Hong Kong, Australia, The Netherlands, Germany, etc.

Originality/value

The paper provides an excellent resource for those people who would like to know whether six sigma is just a management fad or fact. The people who had participated in this panel discussion were carefully chosen by the author.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 27 February 2007

Ni Fei, Fu Zhuang, Liu Renqiang, Cao Qixin and Zhao Yanzheng

To develop an image processing approach for jigsaw puzzle assembly.

Abstract

Purpose

To develop an image processing approach for jigsaw puzzle assembly.

Design/methodology/approach

First, pixels are extracted from the jigsaw puzzle blocks to calculate their rotation angles and centre coordinates. Second, a template matching method is employed to recognise each block and its orientation.

Findings

A robot‐based jigsaw puzzle system is established; and an effective image processing approach for assembly is developed.

Practical implications

Automatic assembly lines that assemble parts with the same shape, but random position and angle, can employ the jigsaw puzzle assembly method.

Originality/value

An effective image processing method for jigsaw puzzle assembly is presented in this paper. The validity of the method is proved by analysis and experiment.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 27 February 2007

Arne Burisch, Jan Wrege, Annika Raatz, Jürgen Hesselbach and Reinhard Degen

Until now, the size range of most machines for precision assembly was much larger than the size of the pieces to be handled or the necessary workspace. Flexibly scalable…

Abstract

Purpose

Until now, the size range of most machines for precision assembly was much larger than the size of the pieces to be handled or the necessary workspace. Flexibly scalable miniaturised production machines can help to develop much more flexible micro production systems. The paper aims to describe the development of a micro‐parallel‐SCARA robot adapted in size to MEMS products.

Design/methodology/approach

The robot consists of a miniaturised parallel structure, which provides a high level of accuracy in a workspace of 60 × 45 × 20 mm3. It has a base area of 130 × 170 mm2 and offers four degrees of freedom.

Findings

Based on simulations, the degree of miniaturisation in terms of a smaller structure and a high level of accuracy is determined. The results show that a miniaturised hybrid robot with a plane parallel structure driven by miniaturised zero‐backlash gears and electric motors can reach a theoretical repeatability better than 1 μm.

Research limitations/implications

The first prototype provides good prospects that the concept will be used in a visionary desktop‐factory. As regards the accuracy parameters of the robot, there will be further efforts to optimise the robot's structure and drive mechanism.

Practical implications

The repeatability of this first prototype is better than 14 μm. A better stiffness of optimised micro‐gears and joints of the structure will guarantee a much better repeatability.

Originality/value

The paper illustrates that the Parvus is one of the smallest industrial robots for micro assembly equipped with a full range of functionalities like conventional industrial robots.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 27 February 2007

Paul G. Ranky

To offer lean design and assembly principles with a focus on “monozukuri,” meaning sustainable, environmentally friendly factories and products with simultaneously…

Abstract

Purpose

To offer lean design and assembly principles with a focus on “monozukuri,” meaning sustainable, environmentally friendly factories and products with simultaneously integrated product and process designs.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on extensive study of products, processes and factories, 18 “monozukuri‐focused” product, process, factory design and management principles are explained by the author.

Findings

The rule‐based approach to designing lean, sustainable, “monozukuri‐focused” flexible products, processes, production systems and factories will reduce waste at all levels, and create new opportunities for satisfying dynamically changing market needs.

Originality/value

Reveals 18 lean design and assembly line design and management principles with some practical industrial examples.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 27 February 2007

Bronius Baksys and Nomeda Puodziuniene

The paper aims to investigate theoretically and experimentally vibrational alignment of parts in an assembly position under kinematical excitement of the movably based part.

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to investigate theoretically and experimentally vibrational alignment of parts in an assembly position under kinematical excitement of the movably based part.

Design/methodology/approach

Presents developed mathematical model for vibrational alignment when the kinematical excitement of movable part is applied along the insertion axis. Dependencies of alignment duration on stiffness of basing elements and excitation frequency were defined numerically solving the mobile‐based part alignment equations. Alignment experiments of rectangular cross‐section and cylindrical parts under kinematical excitement were carried out.

Findings

The mathematical model and the experiments have demonstrated that alignment of the parts being assembled happens due to directed displacement of the movable part resulted by certain parameters of the system and excitement. In the course of the displacement, mating surfaces are aligned and the final mutual orientation of the parts before insertion is realized. Experiments have proved validity of the developed mathematical model. This process reduces allowable axial non‐coincidence and angular misfit of the parts to be assembled.

Research limitations/implications

Impact and non‐impact regimes of the displacement exist depending on the excitement amplitude and initial contact force between the parts. Also, during the vibrational alignment it is possible to control dry friction force between parts by additional high frequency vibrations. Besides, the vibrational excitement can be not only harmonic, but also impulse, bi‐harmonic, etc. Only non‐impact regime of the motion without dry friction force control was investigated and presented in the paper.

Practical implications

The paper investigates the vibrational alignment method based on the directed vibrational displacement of the connecting part, which does not require high preciseness of the interdependent position of the parts in the assembly position.

Originality/value

Vibrational assembly devices of directional action enable compensation of errors of the parts' mutual positioning without use of sensors, feedback systems and control algorithms.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 27 February 2007

Richard Bloss

To review the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago with emphasis on innovations in applying automation to manufacturing and assembly.

Abstract

Purpose

To review the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago with emphasis on innovations in applying automation to manufacturing and assembly.

Design/methodology/approach

In‐depth interviews with exhibitors of automated assembly and manufacturing technology.

Findings

Building of production machinery is moving toward offering automated assembly or production cells and away from building single purpose equipment. Robots are married to machine tools for much more than just tending.

Practical implications

Users in almost any manufacturing realm will find that automated assembly technologies are now addressing all types of production requirements. No longer is it necessary to think only million off part runs can be produced in an automated manner. Machine tool builders are including testing, finishing, marking, assembly and other secondary operations within the basic machining unit for a wide range of production volumes.

Originality/value

Illustrates that automation can even be applied to “made to order” type production.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

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