Design and Development of a Novel Re-Configurable Fixturing System 2015-01-2495
Modern aerospace industry is continuously seeking new technologies due to potential increase in demand for new aircrafts which are to be produced on a single production line while reducing model changeover time and improving quality of the assembly process. In mass volume production, this can be achieved by fixing a large number of similar components using special-purpose jigs and fixtures. This type of jigs and fixtures can be largely found in Aerospace industry. In low volume production, improvement of re-configurable fixturing systems becomes a favourable way to reduce the cost of production per unit. A re-configurable fixturing system consists of standard components that can be used to satisfy different fixturing requirements. These fixtures are reusable and this enhances their flexibility and reduces the time and cost of development. It also offers the benefit of eliminating the need for dedicated tooling, dedicated fixturing, associated storage and floor space. Re-configurable fixturing also provide rapid response to engineering and production changes, system expandability, and considerable reduction in setup time. In this research a novel concept of re-configurable fixturing system is developed and validated using a fully functional small scale prototype made out of standard parts that are widely available in the market. The developed system can be easily applied to other industries due to its flexibility and re-configurability.