Methodology for reconfigurable fixture architecture design

Mads Bejlegaard, Waguih ElMaraghy, Thomas Ditlev Brunø, Ann-Louise Andersen, Kjeld Nielsen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A reconfigurable fixture is an important enabler to cope with increasing product variety and shorter lifecycles, since it helps to change between product variants more efficiently and reduces the time and resource usage for introduction of new product variants. For fixtures to be reconfigurable, they must be designed to accommodate a family in a single fixture that can be efficiently converted to different product variants, while also being designed for rapid introduction of new products since product families are dynamic and evolve over time. This brings some critical issues to the design phase of the reconfigurable fixture, regarding the frequency of reconfigurations, the time spent on reconfigurations, and the time and resources spent on introducing new products. However, reconfigurable fixture architecture design is not addressed in existing literature. Therefore, this paper proposes a generic architecture design methodology for the design of reconfigurable fixtures. A method developed for reconfigurable manufacturing systems design has been adapted for the design of reconfigurable fixtures. The method is validated by applying it on an industrial welding task, allowing the assembly of 14 different sub-components in one single reconfigurable fixture, which previously required six different fixtures for the same tasks. This demonstrates the validity of the proposed methodology by illustrating the changeability of the new, improved, and redesigned modular fixture.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCIRP Journal of Manufacturing Science and Technology
Volume23
Pages (from-to)172-186
Number of pages15
ISSN1755-5817
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018

Keywords

  • Changeability
  • Design
  • Design method
  • Fixture
  • Methodology
  • Modular design
  • Reconfiguration
  • Reuse
  • Synthesis
  • System architecture

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