Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

A methodology for the concurrent design of products and their assembly sequence

By C. J. Barnes


This thesis reports on the development of a Two-Tier methodology that provides support for assembly sequence construction, validation and evaluation in parallel with the design. This facilitates the production of products that are optimised for assemblability. The proposed approach diverges significantly from many of the sequence generation methods developed to date, which assume that assembly planning starts at the conclusion of the design process. It is believed that the latter approach misses an important opportunity to concurrently implement design and sequence improvements that would result in products inherently suited to assembly. The industrial assembly planning process was found to be completely different from the automatic sequence generation approach. The Two-Tier methodology has its foundations in this manual process, which uses a breadth-first, depth-second search. A constraint-based method is used to interactively validate the sequence. In direct contrast to traditional sequence generators, the hard and soft constraints are invoked throughout the process. A novel approach to sequence evaluation allows the user to quantitatively determine the suitability of the sequence at any time during the construction process. However, designers are rarely assembly experts and it is unreasonable to expect practical sequences to be generated without assistance. Thus, a set of generic assembly planning rules was identified from industrial surveys by the author. These were collaboratively implemented into an Expert Assembler, which currently consists of two mini advisors. Support is available to identify the most suitable base component and the most appropriate component to add next. The Two-Tier methodology has been implemented into a computer-based system called SPADE (Sequence Planning And Design Environment). A four-layer model holds the product data that underpins this implementation. The methodology and SPADE have been successfully tested using representative case studies and the results are reported as part of this thesis

Publisher: Cranfield University
Year: 1999
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Cranfield CERES

Suggested articles


  1. 3D MAPS: Three Dimensional Mechanical Assembly Planning System", doi
  2. (1990). A Constraint Based Approach to Planning With Assemblies", doi
  3. (1999). A de Pennington, "Towards an Integrated Description Of Product, Process and Supply Chain", To Be Published doi
  4. A Delchambre "Applying The Equal Piles Problem To Balance Assembly Lines", doi
  5. A Design-specific Approach to Design for Assembly (DFA) for Complex Mechanical Assemblies, " doi
  6. A Framework For Automated Mechanical Assembly Planning", doi
  7. A Framework For Automatic DFA System Development", doi
  8. A Framework For Automating Cost Estimates In Assembly Processes", doi
  9. A Framework For Geometric Reasoning About Tools In Assembly", doi
  10. A Neural Network Based Computation Scheme For Generating Optimised Robotic Assembly Sequences", doi
  11. A New Philosophy For The Design Of a Product and Its Assembly Line", doi
  12. A Pragmatic Approach For Precence Graph Generation", doi
  13. A Survey Of Constraints in Automated Assembly Planning", doi
  14. A Survey Of Design Philosophies, Models, Methods and Systems", doi
  15. A Systematic Approach For Design And Planning Of Mechanical Assemblies", doi
  16. Advancing Design-For-Assembly: The Next Generation in Assembly Planning", doi
  17. (1994). An Approach For Assembly Sequence Planning Using Solid Models",
  18. An Efficient Method For Generating Assembly Sequences In Product Design Stages", doi
  19. An Experience Based Assembly Sequence Planner For Mechanical Assemblies", doi
  20. An Integrated Approach To The Generation Of Assembly Sequences",
  21. An Integrated Computer Aid For Generating and Evaluating Assembly Sequences For Mechanical Products", doi
  22. An Integration of Neural Network and Rule-Based Systems for Design and Planning of Mechanical Assemblies", doi
  23. (1996). An Investigation Into The Evaluation Of Assembly Sequences" Thesis
  24. AND/OR Graph Representation Of Assembly Plans", doi
  25. Assembly Oriented Design", doi
  26. Assembly Partitioning Along Simple Paths: The Case Of Multiple Translations", doi
  27. Assembly Planning Research At CSIRO Australia", doi
  28. (1995). Assembly Planning Software", doi
  29. Assembly Representations For Capturing Mating Constraints and Component Kinematics", doi
  30. (1998). Automated Analysis For Lifecycle Assembly Processes",
  31. Automated Generation Of Assembly Sequence Based On Geometric and Functional Reasoning", doi
  32. (1999). Automotive World,
  33. (1996). CAD Method For Industrial Assembly: Concurrent Design Of Products, Equipment and Control Systems", doi
  34. Comparative Assembly Planning During Assembly Design. doi
  35. Computer Aided Concurrent Design Of Product And Assembly Processes: A Literature Review",
  36. Computer Aided Planning Of Assembly Operations: The Selection Of Assembly Sequences",
  37. Computer Aids For Finding, Representing, Choosing Amongst And Evaluating The Assembly Sequences Of Mechanical Products", Computer Aided Mechanical Assembly Planning, doi
  38. (1998). Computer Support for Proactive DFA",
  39. (1989). Concurrent Design Of Products and Processes", doi
  40. Constraint Based Interactive Assembly Planning", doi
  41. Constraint Evaluation For Assembly Sequence Planning", doi
  42. (1984). Contribution une approche methodologique de l'assemblage automatise: elaboration automatique des sequences operatiores", Thesis d'Etat Universite de Franche-Comte,
  43. Correction to "Simplified Generation Of All Mechanical Assembly Sequences", doi
  44. (1997). Criteria for Evaluating Assembly Sequence In DFA",
  45. (1992). Design For Assembly Software Manual", Version 6.0,
  46. (1999). Design For Assembly: Influencing The Design Process", accepted for publication in Journal Of Engineering Design, doi
  47. (1988). Design For Assembly", Second Edition, doi
  48. Design For Manufacture and Assembly Practitioners Manual",
  49. Design Of An Experience Based Assembly Sequence Planner For Mechanical Assemblies", doi
  50. (1984). Engineering Design", Design Council, doi
  51. (1989). Equipment Selection and Assembly System Design Under Multiple Cost Scenarios, " MIT Thesis,
  52. Feedback Approach To Design For Assembly By Evaluation Of Assembly Plan", doi
  53. (1991). Foreword to "Computer Aided Mechanical Assembly Planning",
  54. Forward Assembly Planning Based Upon Stability",
  55. GAPP: a Generative Assembly Process Planner", doi
  56. Generating And Evaluating Stable Assembly Sequences", doi
  57. (1996). Geometric Reasoning About Assembly Tools", doi
  58. (1994). Geometric Reasoning About Mechanical Assembly",
  59. (1996). Groover "Fundamentals of Modern Manufacturing Material, Process and Systems",
  60. Heuristic Rules and Strategies Of Assembly Planning: Experiment and Implications in the Design of Assembly Decision Support Systems", doi
  61. Homem de Mello, "Representations for Assembly Sequences", Computer Aided Mechanical Assembly Planning, doi
  62. Industrial Perspective On Research Needs And Opportunities In Manufacturing Assembly", doi
  63. Integrated Intelligent Design and Assembly Planning: A Survey", doi
  64. Integrated Knowledge Based Assembly Sequence Planning", doi
  65. Integrated Part And Assembly Planning",
  66. Ltd. TeamSET Users Manual. Version 2,1996. 157 48.
  67. (1980). Motion and Time Study, Design And Measurement Of Work",
  68. Multi Criteria Assembly Sequencing", doi
  69. (1992). On Geometric Assembly Planning", Thesis
  70. On The Automatic Generation Of Assembly Plans", Computer Aided Mechanical Assembly Planning, doi
  71. On The Automatic Generation Of Product Assembly Sequences", doi
  72. Operation Networks for Co-ordinated DFA and Sequence Planning",
  73. Product Design For Assembly", doi
  74. (1990). Representing Subassembly Trees By Deepest Common Ancestor Relations",
  75. Rule Based Assembly Sequencing Exploiting Human Planning Experience",
  76. Simplified Generation Of All Mechanical Assembly Sequences", doi
  77. State Of The Art in The USA Of CAD Methodologies For Product Development Final Report",
  78. (1990). Successful Product Design, What To Do And When",
  79. (1998). Support For Design Evaluation In An Assembly Oriented CAD Environment",
  80. The Archimedes 2 Mechanical Assembly Planning System" doi
  81. (1980). The English Language, doi
  82. (1986). The Hitachi Assemblability Evaluation Method",
  83. (1996). The Potential for Assembly Modelling In Product Development and Manufacturing",
  84. Towards An Integrated Design For An Assembly Evaluation And Reasoning System", doi
  85. Towards Modelling Of Assemblies For Product Design", doi
  86. User Documentation For Archimedes 3. x",
  87. Using Simulated Annealing To Select Least Cost Assembly Sequences", doi
  88. (1992). Working Together", Manufacturing Breakthrough,

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.