The main objective of assembly planning is to determine a sequence of assembling a product with respect to its geometric and resource constraints. Recent strides toward concurrent engineering have called for a tighter integration of assembly planning with design, because often during assembly planning, one realizes that a significant amount of assembly cost can be cut by redesigning the product itself. Instead of "retroactively" redesigning a product upon assembly planning, a concurrent engineering platform must allow its users to evaluate designs (e.g., with regards to assembly sequencing), and "proactively" explore different alternatives at various levels of abstractions so that one can zoom in on "promising" design paths and design right within the first few design cycles. This paper presents such an integrated system in which assembly planning becomes an essential part of the design exploration process. An algorithm for assembly planning during design for such an environment is developed. Designing for assembly is more effective and correct because, for a particular sequence of assembly, different design alternatives can be created and evaluated.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
In , authors had proposed to interface an assembly planner to a CAD system with help of a “Design-for-Assembly (DFA)” expert system. Still, redesigning for assembly remains difficult due to limi- tations in both current CAD and assembly planning systems. Current CAD systems are more suited for specifying details of component geometry, and lack capabilities to dynamically create and manage different design alternatives. Therefore, it is difficult to “retroactively” explore alternative designs upon an assembly analysis. For example, different assembly plans (i.e., subassembly groupings) may require different types of liaisons, features, and fasteners. A correct assembly evaluation cannot be made without accommodating these design requirements first. Most current assembly planning frameworks, on Manuscript received January 1, 1995; revised January 3, 1996. This work was supported in part by the NIST under the National Research Council Postdoctoral Research Associateship.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Control and Systems Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering