This paper presents a method for systematically decomposes product geometry into a set of components considering the structural stiffness of the end product. A structure is represented a graph of its topology, and the optimal decomposition is obtained by combining FEM analyses with a Genetic Algorithm. As a case study, the side frame of a passenger car is decomposed for the minimum distortion of the front door panel geometry, where spot-welded joints are modeled as torsional springs. First, the rates of the torsional springs are treated as constant values obtained in the literature. Second, they are treated as design variables within realistic bounds. By allowing the change in the joint rates, it is demonstrated that the optimal decomposition can achieve the smaller distortion with less amount of joint stiffness (hence less welding spots), than the optimal decomposition with the typical joint rates available in the literature.

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