The high-speed trains are currently considered one of the most significant technological breakthroughs in passenger transportation for providing lower time-consuming and higher quality improvement services. Nevertheless, the manufacturing quality of high speed train is related to driving safety and riding comfort. It needs to be emphasized that the control of dimensional variation plays a crucial and irreplaceable role in today’s manufacturing processing which affect the quality of manufacturing. In this study, a variation simulation method considering both tolerance analysis with rigid assumption and welding distortion is developed to predict dimensional variation of the side wall of high-speed train during the assembly process. Firstly, the tolerance analysis with rigid assumption method is employed to simulate the dimensional variation when the parts of side wall are assembled together. Then, the finite element method (FEM) based on inherent strain is used to predict welding distortion including longitudinal shrinkage, transverse shrinkage and angular distortion. Finally, the results combining both tolerance analysis with rigid assumption and welding distortion are compared with actually measured results to identify the effectiveness of this method.

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