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Manufacturing simulation

The joining process is normally only a small part of the manufacturing operation. To minimise production costs it is important to optimise the operation in whole cells or factories. Where component values are high this optimisation is particularly important.

The Manufacturing Support Group at TWI has assisted aerospace companies to specify and select equipment prove manufacturing systems and concepts, and drive through implementation of smart manufacturing techniques.

Virtual reality 3-D visualisation software tools help staff understand the problems, communicate ideas and test what if scenarios. Real performance can be studied without the need to invest in capital plant.

The performance capability of robot welding cells has been studied for applications in which the operational risks are high. One study examined several approaches for resistance spot welding a complex curved component. It was shown that the robot could manipulate the component within the jaws of a pedestal type welding machine encompassing both the process and handling tasks. The study defined robot reach and specified the relative locations of component stores, the robot and the welding machine.

In another study the ability of a robot wrist and TIG welding head to access the joint line within a highly curved engine component was studied. This work gave the company confidence that the project was technically feasible and underpinned the financial evaluation. The software used for these studies was the Delmia UltraArc.

Using the Delmia Quest tool, whole production facilities have been modelled. It is possible to walk through these models so that they can be seen from inside. By entering product and machine performance information, production rates can be optimised and bottlenecks avoided and capital equipment requirements and staffing levels can be determined. Such facilities studies have been carried out for sub-component and main element in which manufacture where a wide variety of production processes are required.

For more information, please email