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Article
Publication date: 17 February 2012

Hui Cheng, Run‐Xiao Wang, Yuan Li and Kai‐Fu Zhang

Assembly variations, which will propagate along the assembly process, are inevitable and difficult to analyze in Aeronautical Thin‐Walled Structures (ATWS) assembly. The…

Abstract

Purpose

Assembly variations, which will propagate along the assembly process, are inevitable and difficult to analyze in Aeronautical Thin‐Walled Structures (ATWS) assembly. The purpose of this paper is to present a new method for analyzing the variation propagation of ATWS with automated riveting.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper addresses the variation propagation model and method by first, forming a novel Stage‐State model to represent the process of automated riveting. Second, the effect of positioning error on assembly variation is defined as propagation variation (PV), and propagation matrix of key characteristic points (KCP) is discussed. Third, the effect between the variations in each stage is defined as expansion variation (EV). According to the analysis of mismatch error and the reference transformation, the expansion matrix is formed.

Findings

The model can solve the variation propagation problem of ATWS with automated riveting efficiently, which is shown as an example of this paper.

Practical implications

The variation obtained by the model and method presented in this paper is in conformity with the variation measured in experiments.

Originality/value

The propagation variation and expansion variation is proposed for the first time, and variations are studied according to novel propagation matrix and expansion matrix.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 32 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2019

Wenwu Han, Qianwang Deng, Wenhui Lin, Xuran Gong and Sun Ding

This study aims to present a model and analysis of automotive body outer cover panels (OCPs) assembly systems to predict assembly variation. In the automotive industry…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to present a model and analysis of automotive body outer cover panels (OCPs) assembly systems to predict assembly variation. In the automotive industry, the OCPs assembly process directly influences the quality of the automobile body appearance. However, suitable models to describe variation propagation of OCPs assembly systems remain unknown.

Design/methodology/approach

An adaptive state space model for OCPs assembly systems is introduced to accurately express variation propagation, including variation accumulation and transition, where two compliant deviations make impacts on key product characteristics (KPCs) of OCP, and the impacts are accumulated from welding process to threaded connection process. Another new source of variation from threaded connection is included in this model. To quantify the influence of variation from threaded connection on variation propagation, the threaded connection sensitivity matrix is introduced to build up a linear relationship between deviation from threaded connection and output deviation in KPCs. This matrix is solved by homogeneous coordinate transformation. The final deviation of KPCs will be transferred to ensure gaps and flushes between two OCPs, and the transition matrix is considered as a unit matrix to build up the transition relationship between different states.

Findings

A practical case on the left side body structure is described, where simulation result of variation propagation reveals the basic rule of variation propagation and the significant effect of variation from threaded connection on variation propagation of OCPs assembly system.

Originality/value

The model can be used to predict assembly variation or potential dimension problems at a preliminary assembly phase. The calculated results of assembly variation guide designers or technicians on tolerance allocation, fixture layout design and process planning.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 39 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 17 April 2009

Haixia Wang and Dariusz Ceglarek

Dimensional variation management is a major challenge in multi‐station sheet metal assembly processes involving complex products such as automotive body and aircraft…

Abstract

Purpose

Dimensional variation management is a major challenge in multi‐station sheet metal assembly processes involving complex products such as automotive body and aircraft fuselage assemblies. Very few studies have explored it at a preliminary design phase taking into consideration effects of part deformation on variation propagation, since early design phase involves the development of imprecise design models with scant or incomplete product and process knowledge. The objective of this paper is to present a variation model which can be built into the preliminary design phase taking into consideration all of the existing interactions between flexible parts and tools in multi‐station sheet metal assembly process.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper addresses this problem by first, presenting a beam‐based product and process model which shares the same data structure of the B‐Rep CAD models, and therefore can be embedded in CAD systems for automatic product skeletal design; second, determining the influence of part deformation, for various, differing joining and releasing schemes, on variation propagation; and third, utilizing this information to generate a vector‐based variation propagation model for multistation sheet metal assemblies.

Findings

This paper presents a beam‐based product and process model which shares the same data structure of the B‐Rep CAD models, and therefore can be embedded in CAD systems for automatic product skeletal design; determines the influence of part deformation, for various, differing joining and releasing schemes, on variation propagation; and utilizes this information to generate a vector‐based variation propagation model for multistation sheet metal assemblies.

Originality/value

A truck cab assembly is presented to demonstrate the advantages of the proposed model over the state‐of‐the‐art approach used in industry for sheet metal assemblies.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 29 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

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Article
Publication date: 3 January 2018

Liang Cheng, Qing Wang, Jiangxiong Li and Yinglin Ke

This paper aims to present a modeling and analysis approach for multi-station aircraft assembly to predict assembly variation. The variation accumulated in the assembly…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present a modeling and analysis approach for multi-station aircraft assembly to predict assembly variation. The variation accumulated in the assembly process will influence the dimensional accuracy and fatigue life of airframes. However, in digital large aircraft assembly, variation propagation analysis and modeling are still unresolved issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on an elastic structure model and variation model of multistage assembly in one station, the propagation of key characteristics, assembly reference and measurement errors are introduced. Moreover, the reposition and posture coordination are considered as major aspects. The reposition of assembly objects in a different assembly station is described using transformation and blocking of coefficient matrix in finite element equation. The posture coordination of the objects is described using homogeneous matrix multiplication. Then, the variation propagation model and analysis of large aircraft assembly are established using a discrete system diagram.

Findings

This modeling and analysis approach for multi-station aircraft assembly reveals the basic rule of variation propagation between adjacent assembly stations and can be used to predict assembly variation or potential dimension problems at a preliminary assembly phase.

Practical implications

The modeling and analysis approaches have been used in a transport aircraft project, and the calculated results were shown to be a good prediction of variation in the actual assembly.

Originality/value

Although certain simplifications and assumptions have been imposed, the proposed method provides a better understanding of the multi-station assembly process and creates an analytical foundation for further work on variation control and tolerance optimization.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 38 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2017

Xin Li, Jianzhong Shang and Hong Zhu

This paper aims to consider a problem of assembly sensitivity in a multi-station assembly process. The authors focus on the assembly process of aircrafts, which includes…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to consider a problem of assembly sensitivity in a multi-station assembly process. The authors focus on the assembly process of aircrafts, which includes cabins and inertial navigation system (INSs), and establish the assembly process state space model for their assembly sensitivity research.

Design/methodology/approach

To date, the process-related errors that cause large variations in key product characteristics remains one of the most critical research topics in assembly sensitivity analysis. This paper focuses on the unique challenges brought about by the multi-station system: a system-level model for characterizing the variation propagation in the entire process, and the necessity of describing the system response to variation inputs at both station-level and single fixture-level scales. State space representation is used to describe the propagation of variation in such a multi-station process, incorporating assembly process parameters such as fixture-locating layout at individual stations and station-to-station locating layout change.

Findings

Following the sensitivity analysis in control theory, a group of hierarchical sensitivity indices is defined and expressed in terms of the system matrices in the state space model, which are determined by the given assembly process parameters.

Originality/value

A case study of assembly sensitivity for a multi-station assembly process illustrates and validates the proposed methodology.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 37 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 15 February 2013

Hua Wang and Xin Ding

The purpose of this paper is to propose a method to identify sources of variation in horizontal stabilizer assembly using FEA (finite element analysis) and PCA (principal…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose a method to identify sources of variation in horizontal stabilizer assembly using FEA (finite element analysis) and PCA (principal component analysis).

Design/methodology/approach

The horizontal stabilizer is assembled by long and thin‐walled deformable aluminum components. Part‐to‐part assembly of these compliant components regularly causes difficulties associated with dimensional variations. Finite element modeling and PCA are employed to predict the propagation of variation from edge to horizontal stabilizer.

Findings

The variation analysis combined with pattern fitting method is demonstrated in a case study of the horizontal stabilizer assembly system and good performance is obtained. The results have shown that the FEA and PCA method has the capability of predicting, to an acceptable degree of accuracy, the overall geometrical variations propagation of the edges and trailing edge.

Originality/value

The results of this research will enhance the understanding of the compliant components deformation in assembly, and help to systematically improve the precision control efficiency in civil aircraft assembly.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

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Article
Publication date: 25 October 2020

Meng Zhang, Weifang Zhang, Xiaobei Liang, Yan Zhao and Wei Dai

Crack damage detection for aluminum alloy materials using fiber Bragg Grating (FBG) sensor is a kind of structure health monitoring. In this paper, the damage index of…

Abstract

Purpose

Crack damage detection for aluminum alloy materials using fiber Bragg Grating (FBG) sensor is a kind of structure health monitoring. In this paper, the damage index of full width at half maximum (FWHM) was extracted from the distorted reflection spectra caused by the crack-tip inhomogeneous strain field, so as to explain the crack propagation behaviors.

Design/methodology/approach

The FWHM variations were also investigated through combining the theoretical calculations with simulation and experimental analyses. The transfer matrix algorithm was developed to explore the mechanism by which FWHM changed with the linear and quadratic strain. Moreover, the crack-tip inhomogeneous strain field on the specimen surface was computed according to the digital image correlation measurement during the experiments.

Findings

The experimental results demonstrated that the saltation points in FWHM curve accorded with the moments of crack propagation to FBG sensors.

Originality/value

The interpretation of reflected spectrum deformation mechanism with crack propagation was analyzed based on both simulations and experiments, and then the performance of potential damage features – FWHM were proposed and evaluated. According to the correlation between the damage characteristic and the crack-tip location, the crack-tip of the specimen could be measured rapidly and accurately with this technique.

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Article
Publication date: 25 July 2019

Yinhua Liu, Rui Sun and Sun Jin

Driven by the development in sensing techniques and information and communications technology, and their applications in the manufacturing system, data-driven quality…

Abstract

Purpose

Driven by the development in sensing techniques and information and communications technology, and their applications in the manufacturing system, data-driven quality control methods play an essential role in the quality improvement of assembly products. This paper aims to review the development of data-driven modeling methods for process monitoring and fault diagnosis in multi-station assembly systems. Furthermore, the authors discuss the applications of the methods proposed and present suggestions for future studies in data mining for quality control in product assembly.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper provides an outline of data-driven process monitoring and fault diagnosis methods for reduction in variation. The development of statistical process monitoring techniques and diagnosis methods, such as pattern matching, estimation-based analysis and artificial intelligence-based diagnostics, is introduced.

Findings

A classification structure for data-driven process control techniques and the limitations of their applications in multi-station assembly processes are discussed. From the perspective of the engineering requirements of real, dynamic, nonlinear and uncertain assembly systems, future trends in sensing system location, data mining and data fusion techniques for variation reduction are suggested.

Originality/value

This paper reveals the development of process monitoring and fault diagnosis techniques, and their applications in variation reduction in multi-station assembly.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 39 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2008

Kuigang Yu, Sun Jin, Xinmin Lai and Yanfeng Xing

Material variation is inevitable in volume production, especially the sheet metal thickness variation, which influences part stiffness characteristic. The purpose of this…

Abstract

Purpose

Material variation is inevitable in volume production, especially the sheet metal thickness variation, which influences part stiffness characteristic. The purpose of this paper is to present a new variation model of compliant sheet metal assembly with consideration of material variation influence.

Design/methodology/approach

The theory of computational solid mechanics is used to obtain the relationship between part stiffness matrix and material characteristic. The method of influence coefficients is adopted to deduce the assembly variation model.

Findings

Material variation‐induced influence coefficients to assembly variation are obtained, and a variation model of compliant sheet metal assembly with sources of material variations, part geometric variations and fixture variations is presented. Analysis shows that material variation has an important influence to assembly variations.

Originality/value

A quantitative relationship between assembly variations and material thickness variations is firstly given and a new variation model of compliant sheet metal assembly is presented to help designers to more exactly predict the assembly variation and diagnose variation sources.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 21 September 2012

Sandipan Karmakar and Jhareswar Maiti

The purpose of this paper is to present a state‐of‐the‐art review of dimensional tolerance synthesis and to demonstrate the evolution of tolerance synthesis from product…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a state‐of‐the‐art review of dimensional tolerance synthesis and to demonstrate the evolution of tolerance synthesis from product to process‐oriented strategy, as well as to compare the same for single stage and multistage manufacturing systems (MMS). The main focus is in delineating the different approaches, methods and techniques used with critical appraisal of their uses, applicability and limitations, based on which future research directions and a generic methodology are proposed.

Design/methodology/approach

Starting with issues in tolerancing research, the review demonstrates the critical aspects of product and process‐oriented tolerance synthesis. The aspects considered are: construction of tolerance design functions; construction of optimization functions; and use of optimization methods. In describing the issues of process‐oriented tolerance synthesis, a comparative study of single and multistage manufacturing has been provided.

Findings

This study critically reviews: the relationship between the tolerance variables and the variations created through manufacturing operations; objective functions for tolerance synthesis; and suitable optimization methods based upon the nature of the tolerance variables and the design functions created.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited to dimensional tolerance synthesis problems and evolution of process‐oriented tolerance synthesis to counteract dimensional variation problems in assembly manufacturing.

Originality/value

The paper provides a comprehensive and step‐by‐step approach of review of dimensional tolerance synthesis.

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