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Automated generation of assembly system-design solutions

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2 Author(s)
Webbink, R.F. ; Dept. of Mech. Eng., Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA ; Hu, S.J.

Any assembly system-design problem which consists of generating system configurations and assignment of tasks to the stations has a set of solutions. The number of feasible solutions may be staggering, even for products consisting of a relatively small number of parts assembled on a small number of stations. As the size of the product and the assembly system grow, it may become difficult to develop a complete set of design solutions for in-depth analysis. Here an automated method is described by which the complete sets of system configurations and assembly sequences may be generated, and feasible solutions, consisting of a matched element from each set, can be rapidly derived. These solutions may then be tested for various performance metrics, some of which may not be expressed mathematically. In designing assembly systems, the layout of stations and the assignment of assembly tasks to these stations are important design problems. This paper proposes a set of algorithms to quickly generate the configurations of the assembly system and assign tasks to the configurations. Once the matching of tasks to the configurations is complete, the performance of these various design alternatives, such as productivity, can be evaluated to allow selection of configurations with the best performance.

Published in:

Automation Science and Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:2 ,  Issue: 1 )