Component deviations between as-designed and as-built as a result of deformations in the production process lead to significant cost increasing during assembly. After quality inspection, components are provisionally preassembled to determine their matching accuracy. Components with an acceptable tolerance range are then assembled. Otherwise costly reworks are required. Subsequently, the preassembly process is repeated until acceptable assembly tolerances are achieved. To avoid this time-consuming and costly process loop, a flexible mounting frame coupled with a real-time measuring system is used to optimize the assembly process. The flexible mounting frame can be applied for many applications where components are to be aligned and mounted. This flexible mounting frame affords the realization of exact shape and acceptable position tolerances.
The mounting frame consists of telescopic carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) tubes. Linear actuators deform the component in the elastic range. Connected vacuum cups hold the component securely to the mounting frame. The individually configurable joining device compensates manufacturing deviations during assembly in the elastic range. This is realized through a real time measuring system that assists in controlling a variable number of actuators. The geometric deviations are detected contactless by an external measuring system. This system provides the required measurements to control the actuators. By decoupling the measuring method from the manipulator, the system can be kept extremely low without compromising accuracy.
Furthermore, the frame is mounted on a mobile robot platform. The applied mobile robot platform consists of the mobile platform (KUKA omniMove) and an industrial robot (KUKA KR QUANTEC 150). By using such mobile robot, the system can be universally used. Moreover, components can be brought into the assembly position by contour optimized elastic deformation. This novel implementation of flexibly pick up and precisely mounting system results in a more efficient and faster assembly.