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Design-specific approach to design for assembly (DFA) for complex mechanical assemblies

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3 Author(s)
De Fazio, T. ; Charles Stark Draper Lab. Inc., Cambridge, MA, USA ; Rhee, S.J. ; Whitney, Daniel E.

Uses assembly sequence analysis (ASA) to explore design for assembly (DFA), subassembly partitioning, and assembly sequence choice for two complex assemblies. Complex assemblies have very high parts-counts, a final assembly organized as an assembly of subassemblies, and offer limited redesign options. ASA addresses combinatorial aspects of complex assemblies that conventional DFA ignores: choice and partitioning of subassemblies, and assembly sequence choice. The paper describes criterion-based searches for favorable subassembly partitioning and assembly sequences that use genetic algorithm techniques to spread assembly move difficulty across entire final assembly sequences while satisfying all logical constraints imposed on the assembly sequence by part geometry. The measure of assembly move difficulty, a count of kinematic degrees of freedom secured during each final assembly step, is measured on an absolute scale. We find that ASA can pinpoint candidate DFA-related redesigns and can suggest assembly issues to designers. Logical assembly issues dominate quantitatively-characterized issues when selecting assembly sequence or subassembly partitioning. After logical issues are addressed, the sequence choice criterion defined here often duplicates choices made by experienced analysts. Finally, the sequence choice criterion favors in-line over branched final assembly lines

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Robotics and Automation, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:15 ,  Issue: 5 )