This paper presents a new approach to improve process yield by determining an optimum set of fixture layouts for a given multi-station assembly system which can satisfy: (i) parts and subassemblies locating stability in each fixture layout; and (ii) fixture system robustness against environmental noises in order to minimize product dimensional variability. Three major challenges of the multi-stage assembly processes are addressed: (i) high-dimensional design space; (ii) large and complex design space of each locator; and (iii) the nonlinear relations between locator positions, also called Key Control Characteristics, and Key Product Characteristics. The proposed methodology conducts two-step optimization based on the integration of Genetic Algorithm and Hammersley Sequence Sampling. First, Genetic Algorithm is used for design space reduction by determining the areas of optimal fixture locations in initial design spaces. Then, Hammersley Sequence Sampling uniformly samples the candidate sets of fixture layouts from the areas predetermined by GA for the optimum. The process yield and part instability index are design objectives in evaluating candidate sets of fixture layouts. An industrial case study illustrates and validates the proposed methodology.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.