The paper describes the functional requirements of an agile pallet in the high volume assembly of automotive engines. Three design approaches to enable the locating pins and the rest pads be reconfigured quickly and accurately in the 3D workspace of the pallet have been identified. The technology options investigated are: a) compact magnetic chucks with high attractive force, b) special fast bonding/debonding adhesives, and c) 3-DOF parallel kinematic mechanisms (PKM). Finite element model analysis, experimental test data, and various system operating issues and economic cost effectiveness are also discussed.

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