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Clamping modelling: state-of-the-art and future trends

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to clarify the relationship between automated assembly and mass production environments such as the manufacture of cars, airplanes and white goods and methods of modelling and simulation. Even in this environment high-level automated assembly is restricted to the original equipment manufacturers where production volumes are high and flexibility and the ability to quickly reconfigure systems are not major drivers. It proposes modelling of the fixing/assembly process and outlining why and how new methods are important throughout the manufacturing process. The paper aims to expand the domain of co operation of different research institutes, universities and companies. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The paper focuses on typically, fixture design, which involves the identification of clamp, locator, and support points, and the selection of corresponding fixture elements for their respective functions. In addition, the automation of fixture design activities in manufacturing is an important research area, which aims to achieve the integration of design and manufacturing. The most commonly used methods are pointed out. Findings ‐ The paper summarizes the main modelling and simulation methods applied to new fixing and assembly processes. Research limitations/implications ‐ Because of the chosen research approach, the paper is more general. Practical implications ‐ The paper includes implications for the development of a powerful new fixing method applied in the automotive and aerospace industry, which is important for stability and easy change in a rough manufacturing environment. Originality/value ‐ This paper fulfils an identified need to study how new fixing methods can improve motorcar and aerospace manufacturing.
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Keywords: Computer aided manufacturing; Finite element analysis; Modelling; Production equipment; Simulation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2009

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