Original Date: 01/23/1995
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Automated Assembly Planning
Sandia National Laboratories are currently working on an automated assembly planning tool as part of the A-PRIMED project. This tool will utilize simulation software that can immediately illustrate the assembly process to include parts interactions and would be valuable for both manual and robotic applications. For the robotic application, this software includes the necessary task planning and plan translations to prepare a detailed device-specific robotic program.
This planning tool development is the result of the complexity and diversity of many modern products. Additionally, these products are being designed at faster rates than before, and packed into smaller volumes with lower costs than previously attainable. This results in more complex assembly plans which lend themselves to automation.
A computer-aided planning method helps ensure process compatibility and ease of component assembly. Designer's assembly plans can also be checked to avoid costly mistakes in both design-for-manufacturing and design-for- assembly areas. This should result in a reduced product development cycle through automation of the production planning process.
To develop this tool, Sandia chose the A-PRIMED demonstration product called a "discriminator," a precision electromechanical device used as a safety switch. During this project, process plans for the discriminator were developed and simulated using a CAD system. Dimensional and positional considerations were the initial focus of this effort.
Once fully developed, this technology could become one of the many useful tools which Sandia can include in its engineering toolbox via the AMTnet.
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