This paper presents a new fixture design methodology for sheet metal assembly processes. The proposed approach focuses on the impact of fixture position on the dimensional quality of sheet metal parts after assembly, considering part and tooling variation and assembly springback. The optimization algorithm combines finite element analysis and nonlinear programming methods to find the optimal fixture position such that the assembly variation is minimized. The optimal fixture design methodology enables to significantly reduce the assembly variation in the presence of part and tooling variation. A case study is presented to demonstrate the design procedure.

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