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Process Design

The goal of the "Process Design" module is to optimize the process performances to achieve optimum quality of the final RLW assembled product. A brief summary of the overall "RLW Process Design" module is presented below:

processdesign

Figure 1. Process Design Module

OBJECTIVE

To develop simulation tools for modelling, analysis and optimization of RLW process.

CAPABILITY

  • Analytical modelling of geometric variations of a single or batch of deformable parts and using this model for variation simulation analysis (Part Variation Modeller Simulation Tool)
  • Variation Simulation Analysis (VSA) of assembly processes with deformable parts (Fixture Layout Analyser and Optimiser Simulation Tool)
  • Fixture layout optimisation for assembly of a single or batch of deformable parts (Fixture Layout Analyser and Optimiser Simulation Tool)
  • RLW joining process power and speed parameters selection to optimize joint quality KPIs (joint penetration and/or width/s-distance) given material stack-up and part-to-part gap variation (this is part of the Laser Parameters Optimiser Simulation Tool).
  • INTRA-LOOP analysis capability: The "Laser Parameters Optimiser" can also be interlinked with VSA and "Fixture layout optimization" as iterative multi-disciplinary optimisation process (‘intra-loop’ analysis as shown in Fig. 3). This provide a novel capability for interactive selection of not only RLW process power and speed parameters to optimize joint quality; but also for interactive and simultaneous selection of all three parameters: power, speed and part-to-part gap to optimize joint quality; given part variation provided as an input from the "Part Variation Modeller" simulation tool
  • INTER-LOOP analysis capability: The WP3 "Process Design" module with aforementioned three simulation tools can also be interlinked with WP2 "Workstation Planning and OLP" simulation tool as an iterative multi-disciplinary optimization process (‘inter-loop’ analysis as shown in Fig. 3). This provide a novel capability for interactive selection of not only RLW process parameters such as power, speed and part-to-part gap; but also for simultaneous selection of additional parameters related to laser beam visibility to optimize both joint quality and cycle time. In this way the interlinked multi-disciplinary optimisation can be formulated as a single- or multi-objective decision problem with the following objectives: joint quality (joint width, penetration); productivity (cycle time), and/or energy use (power used); given product quality (part GD&T and geometric variation). The Inter-loop analysis capability of the aforementioned simulation tools can support automotive body-in-white new process development (NPI), installation & commissioning.

IMPACT

  • Reduced fixture adjustment by 50%
  • Reduced weld feasibility adjustment by 75%
  • Significant reduction of engineering changes during new product & process development – increased Right-First-Time capability during new process introduction (NPI)
  • Shortened time-to-launch.
  • Shortened new production Launch time.

APPLICATION

  • Tooling development for RLW joining processes.
  • Tooling development for other joining processes such as RSW, SPR, riveting, … used in sheet metal assembly processes in automotive, aerospace or appliance industries which include: (i) Variation Simulation Analysis (VSA) of assembly processes with deformable parts; and, (ii) Fixture layout optimisation for assembly of a single or batch of deformable parts
  • Tooling buy-off, commissioning and installation.
  • Enhanced digital tooling buy-off and commissioning capability

Tools