In general, for any manufacturing operation to be successful, parts must be located and held to remain in position and orientation when subjected to external forces during the manufacturing operations. The traditional approach to fixturing involves designing and manufacturing special-purpose fixtures. These fixtures are generally dedicated devices designed and manufactured for specific parts and manufacturing operations. Flexible fixturing technology involves employing a single fixturing system to hold workpieces of various shapes and sizes. Such systems have reached the embryonic stage of implementation into manufacturing environment. Therefore the integration of current and future flexible fixturing systems into the manufacturing processes becomes an important issue for future work in computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM) environment. The approach to CIM is dependent on the functional model of the company. Therefore, the implementation of any sub-systems within it must be studied on an individual basis. However, in order to plan and implement new technologies, such as flexible fixturing systems, within CIM environment, certain requirements must be met and guidelines must be followed. The strategies for planning and implementation of flexible fixturing systems within the larger frame work of CIM environment are presented. Some guidelines for designing and developing the interconnection of the data bases are also discussed.
- Flexible fixtures
- Planning and implementation