Experimental investigation of the performance of a reconfigurable fixturing system

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A reconfigurable fixturing system has been developed for computer-integrated assembly environments. The fixturing system employs a number of fixture modules that are set-up, adjusted and changed automatically by the assembly robot without human intervention. A commercially available computer-aided design (CAD) package with the help of a dedicated software program is used for the design, analysis, and verification of the fixture layout. The robot program for setting-up, adjusting, and dismantling the designed fixture is generated automatically. This paper presents and discusses the accuracy of such a reconfigurable fixturing system in view of the off-line programming techniques. The experimental techniques to measure the accuracy and repeatability for setting-up the fixture are presented. The measured results of the robot positioning various types of locating fixture modules are presented and compared with the intended position settings. From the comparison, the accuracy that is to be expected from such an approach to fixturing and measures for improvement are discussed. The cycle times involved in setting-up the fixture modules are also presented and analysed. These results provide an initial guide for manufacturing industries interested in employing such systems in their computer-integrated assembly environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-341
Number of pages12
JournalThe International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 1995


  • Computer-integrated manufacture
  • Fixture calibration
  • Flexible fixturing performance
  • Reconfigurable fixturing
  • Robotic assembly
  • Task planning and off-line programming

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