A Virtual Manufacturing Approach for Integrating Fixture Design with Process Planning
Paper in proceedings, 2010
Computer Aided Process Planning has received more attention recently due to considerable progress in the aspects of both technology and theory. Beside the traditional trends and efforts to integrate the product design and process planning activities usually referred to as concurrent engineering, virtual manufacturing tools have opened new horizons to this domain. This paper describes how to combine an existing modular fixture design with process planning and simulation tools. The proposed concurrent architecture consists of a functional model and an operational workflow for the design of modular fixtures within the process-planning phase. Two different paradigms, the Variant and the Generative, are discussed in relation to the proposed architecture. Fixtures for Body in White lines are a crucial design problem in the automotive industry. Therefore, the proposed architecture has been tested and investigated in such an environment.