A nonlinear optimization method is proposed to design a linkage mechanism used for opening and shutting a ship’s hatch cover. Considering the maximum force of the oil cylinder necessary to move the hatch cover as the objective function to be minimized, the design problem to determine the optimal configuration of linkage mechanism is formulated as a nonlinear optimization problem of minimax type. It it shown that the optimal solution can be derived by adopting the generalized reduced gradient algorithm together with a linkage statical simulation model, and the effectiveness of the algorithm is ascertained through a numerical study.

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