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Technical Paper

Investigating Collaborative Robot Gripper Configurations for Simple Fabric Pick and Place Tasks

2019-04-02
2019-01-0699
Fiber composite materials are widely used in many industrial applications - specially in automotive, aviation and consumer goods. Introducing light-weighting material solutions to reduce vehicle mass is driving innovative materials research activities as polymer composites offer high specific stiffness and strength compared to contemporary engineering materials. However, there are issues related to high production volume, automation strategies and handling methods. The state of the art for the production of these light-weight flexible textile or composite fiber products is setting up multi-stage manual operations for hand layups. Material handling of flexible textile/fiber components is a process bottleneck. Consequently, the long term research goal is to develop semi-automated pick and place processes for flexible materials utilizing collaborative robots within the process. Collaborative robots allow for interactive human-machine tasks to be conducted.
Technical Paper

A Comparison of the Mechanical Performance of AA6061-T6 Extrusions Subjected to Axial Crushing and Axial Cutting

2019-04-02
2019-01-1094
Conventional axially loaded energy absorbers dissipate kinetic energy through progressive folding. The significant fluctuations in load and high risk of transition to global bending are drawbacks that engineers have attempted to mitigate through several methods. A novel energy dissipation mechanism, referred to as axial cutting, utilizes thin-walled extrusions and a strengthened cutting tool to absorb energy in an axial impact. Compared to progressive folding, this can be achieved with minimal fluctuations in load during the deformation process. Based upon estimates from finite element models, a series of test cases were postulated where, for 8 and 10-bladed cutting scenarios, greater total energy absorption could be achieved through axial cutting than with progressive folding of geometrically similar extrusions. The specimens were AA6061 extrusions having T6 temper conditions that possessed 63.5 mm outer diameters and 1.5 mm wall thicknesses.
Journal Article

The Effect of Backing Profile on Cutting Blade Wear during High-Volume Production of Carbon Fiber-Reinforced Composites

2018-04-03
2018-01-0158
Carbon fiber sheet molding compound (SMC) is an attractive material for automotive lightweighting applications, but several issues present themselves when adapting a process developed for glass fiber composites to instead use carbon fibers. SMC is a discontinuous fiber material, so individual carbon fiber tows must be chopped into uniform rovings before being compounded with the resin matrix. Rotary chopping is one such method for producing rovings, but high wear rates are seen when cutting carbon fibers. Experiments were performed to investigate the wear progression of cutting blades during rotary carbon fiber chopping. A small rotary chopper with a polyurethane (PU) backing and thin, hardened steel blades was used to perform extended wear tests (120,000 chops, or until failure to reliably chop tows) to simulate the lifespan of blades during composite material production.
Technical Paper

Design of As-Cast High Strength Al-Si-Cu-Ni-Sr Alloys Using the Taguchi Method

2017-09-30
2017-01-5009
In the present study, a design of experiment (DOE) technique, the Taguchi method, was used to develop as-cast high strength aluminum alloys with element additions of Si, Cu, Ni and Sr. The Taguchi method uses a special design of orthogonal arrays to study all the designed factors with a minimum of experiments at a relatively low cost. The element factors chosen for this study were Si, Cu, Ni and Sr content in the designed aluminum-based alloys. For each factor, three different levels of weight percentages were selected (Si: 6, 9, 12%, Cu: 3, 5, 7%, Ni: 0.5, 1, 1.5% and Sr: 0.01, 0.02, 0.03%). Tensile properties such as ultimate tensile strength, yield strength and elongation at failure were selected as three individual responses to evaluate the engineering performance of the designed alloys. The results of the factor response analysis were used to derive the optimal level combinations.
Technical Paper

A Hardness Study on Laser Cladded Surfaces for a Selected Bead Overlap Conditions

2017-03-28
2017-01-0285
Laser cladding is used to coat a surface of a metal to enhance the metallurgical properties at the surface level of a substrate. For surface cladding operations, overlapping bead geometry is required. Single bead analyses do not provide a complete representation of essential properties; hence, this research focuses on overlapping conditions. The research scope targets the coaxial laser cladding process specifically for P420 stainless steel clad powder using a fiber optic laser with a 4.3 mm spot size on a low/medium carbon structural steel plate (AISI 1018). Many process parameters influence the bead geometrical shape, and it is assumed that the complex temperature distributions within the process could cause subsequent large variations in hardness values. The bead overlap configurations experiments are performed with 40%, 50% and 60% bead overlaps for a three-pass bead formation.
Technical Paper

Investigating Process Parameters and Microhardness Predictive Modeling Approaches for Single Bead 420 Stainless Steel Laser Cladding

2017-03-28
2017-01-0283
Laser cladding is a novel process of surface coating, and researchers in both academia and industry are developing additive manufacturing solutions for large, metallic components. There are many interlinked process parameters associated with laser cladding, which may have an impact on the resultant microhardness profile throughout the bead zone. A set of single bead laser cladding experiments were done using a 4 kW fiber laser coupled with a 6-axis robotic arm for 420 martensitic stainless steel powder. A design of experiments approach was taken to explore a wide range of process parameter settings. The goal of this research is to determine whether robust predictive models for hardness can be developed, and if there are predictive trends that can be employed to optimize the process settings for a given set of process parameters and microhardness requirements.
Technical Paper

General and Galvanic Corrosion Behavior of Aluminized Ultra-High Strength Steel (UHSS) and Magnesium Alloy AZ35 Altered by Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation Coating Processes

2017-03-28
2017-01-0506
Ultra-high strength steel (UHSS) and magnesium (Mg) alloy have found their importance in response to automotive strategy of light weighting. UHSS to be metal-formed by hot stamping usually has a hot-dipped aluminum-silicon alloy layer on its surface to prevent the high temperature scaling during the hot stamping and corrosion during applications. In this paper, a plasma electrolytic oxidation (PEO) process was used to produce ceramic oxide coatings on aluminized UHSS and Mg with intention to further improve their corrosion resistances. A potentiodynamic polarization corrosion test was employed to evaluate general corrosion properties of the individual alloys. Galvanic corrosion of the aluminized UHSS and magnesium alloy coupling with and without PEO coatings was studied by a zero resistance ammeter (ZRA) test. It was found that the heating-cooling process simulating the hot stamping would reduce anti-corrosion properties of aluminized UHSS due to the outward iron diffusion.
Technical Paper

Load and Lubricating Oil Effects on Friction of a PEO Coating at Different Sliding Velocities

2017-03-28
2017-01-0464
Friction between the piston and cylinder accounts for large amount of the friction losses in an internal combustion (IC) engine. Therefore, any effort to minimize such a friction will also result in higher efficiency, lower fuel consumption and reduced emissions. Plasma electrolytic oxidation (PEO) coating is considered as a hard ceramic coating which can provide a dimpled surface for oil retention to bear the wear and reduce the friction from sliding piston rings. In this work, a high speed pin-on-disc tribometer was used to generate the boundary, mixed and hydrodynamic lubrication regimes. Five different lubricating oils and two different loads were applied to do the tribotests and the COFs of a PEO coating were studied. The results show that the PEO coating indeed had a lower COF in a lower viscosity lubricating oil, and a smaller load was beneficial to form the mixed and hydrodynamic lubricating regimes earlier.
Technical Paper

Experimental Observations on the Mechanical Response of AZ31B Magnesium and AA6061-T6 Aluminum Extrusions Subjected to Compression and Cutting Modes of Deformation

2017-03-28
2017-01-0377
Cylindrical extrusions of magnesium AZ31B were subjected to quasi-static axial compression and cutting modes of deformation to study this alloy’s effectiveness as an energy absorber. For comparison, the tests were repeated using extrusions of AA6061-T6 aluminum of the same geometry. For the axial compression tests, three different end geometries were considered, namely (1) a flat cutoff, (2) a 45 degree chamfer, and (3) a square circumferential notch. AZ31B extrusions with the 45 degree chamfer produced the most repeatable and stable deformation of a progressive fracturing nature, referred to as sharding, with an average SEA of 40 kJ/kg and an average CFE of 45 %, which are nearly equal to the performance of the AA6061-T6. Both the AZ31B specimens with the flat cutoff and the circumferential notch conditions were more prone to tilt mid-test, and lead to an unstable helical fracture, which significantly reduced the SEA.
Technical Paper

Modular Design and Methods to Optimize Seat Complete Assemblies

2017-03-28
2017-01-1309
Modularity in product architecture and its significance in product development have become an important product design topics in the last few decades. Several Product Modularity definitions and methodologies were developed by many researchers; however, most of the definitions and concepts have proliferated to the extent that it is difficult to apply one universal definition for modular product architecture and in product development. Automotive seat modular strategy and key factors for consideration towards modular seat design and assemblies are the main focus of this work. The primary objectives are focused on the most “natural segmentation” of the seat elements (i.e., cushions, backs, trims, plastics, head restraints, etc.) to enable the greatest ease of final assembly and greatest flexibility for scalable feature offerings around common assembly “hard-points.”
Journal Article

Methods for Evaluating the Functional Work Space for Machine Tools and 6 Axis Serial Robots

2016-04-05
2016-01-0338
The ‘boundary of space’ model representing all possible positions which may be occupied by a mechanism during its normal range of motion (for all positions and orientations) is called the work envelope. In the robotic domain, it is also known as the robot operating envelope or workspace. Several researchers have investigated workspace boundaries for different degrees of freedom (DOF), joint types and kinematic structures utilizing many approaches. The work envelope provides essential boundary information, which is critical for safety and layout concerns, but the work envelope information does not by itself determine the reach feasibility of a desired configuration. The effect of orientation is not captured as well as the coupling related to operational parameters. Included in this are spatial occupancy concerns due to linking multiple kinematic chains, which is an issue with multi-tasking machine tools, and manufacturing cells.
Journal Article

A Linkage Based Solution Approach for Determining 6 Axis Serial Robotic Travel Path Feasibility

2016-04-05
2016-01-0336
When performing trajectory planning for robotic applications, there are many aspects to consider, such as the reach conditions, joint and end-effector velocities, accelerations and jerk conditions, etc. The reach conditions are dependent on the end-effector orientations and the robot kinematic structure. The reach condition feasibility is the first consideration to be addressed prior to optimizing a solution. The ‘functional’ work space or work window represents a region of feasible reach conditions, and is a sub-set of the work envelope. It is not intuitive to define. Consequently, 2D solution approaches are proposed. The 3D travel paths are decomposed to a 2D representation via radial projections. Forward kinematic representations are employed to define a 2D boundary curve for each desired end effector orientation.
Journal Article

A Framework for Collaborative Robot (CoBot) Integration in Advanced Manufacturing Systems

2016-04-05
2016-01-0337
Contemporary manufacturing systems are still evolving. The system elements, layouts, and integration methods are changing continuously, and ‘collaborative robots’ (CoBots) are now being considered as practical industrial solutions. CoBots, unlike traditional CoBots, are safe and flexible enough to work with humans. Although CoBots have the potential to become standard in production systems, there is no strong foundation for systems design and development. The focus of this research is to provide a foundation and four tier framework to facilitate the design, development and integration of CoBots. The framework consists of the system level, work-cell level, machine level, and worker level. Sixty-five percent of traditional robots are installed in the automobile industry and it takes 200 hours to program (and reprogram) them.
Technical Paper

Defect Classification of Adhesively Bonded Joints Using Pulse-Echo Ultrasonic Testing in Automotive Industries

2015-04-14
2015-01-0592
Amid all nondestructive testing (NDT) methods Ultrasound is considered the most practically feasible modality for quality assessment and detection of defects in automobile industry. Pattern recognition of the ultrasonic signals gives us important information about the interrogated object. This information includes size, geometric shape and location of the defect zone. However, this would not be straightforward to extract this information from the backscattered echoes due to the overlapping signals and also the presence of noise. Here in this study, we suggest a new method for classification of different defects in inspection of adhesively bonded joint. At the first step of this method, the problem of parameter estimation of the reflected echoes is defined in a Maximum Likelihood Estimation (MLE) framework. Then a space alternating generalized Expectation Maximization (SAGE) algorithm is implemented to solve the MLE problem.
Journal Article

Ferritic Nitrocarburizing of SAE 1010 Plain Carbon Steel Parts

2015-04-14
2015-01-0601
Ferritic nitrocarburizing offers excellent wear, scuffing, corrosion and fatigue resistance by producing a thin compound layer and diffusion zone containing ε (Fe2-3(C, N)), γ′ (Fe4N), cementite (Fe3C) and various alloy carbides and nitrides on the material surface. It is a widely accepted surface treatment process that results in smaller distortion than carburizing and carbonitriding processes. However this smaller distortion has to be further reduced to prevent the performance issues, out of tolerance distortion and post grinding work hours/cost in an automotive component. A numerical model has been developed to calculate the nitrogen and carbon composition profiles of SAE 1010 torque converter pistons during nitrocarburizing treatment. The nitrogen composition profiles are modeled against the part thickness to predict distortion.
Technical Paper

Surface Effect of a PEO Coating on Friction at Different Sliding Velocities

2015-04-14
2015-01-0687
In order to reduce the weight of an automotive engine, an aluminum (Al) alloy engine block with cast iron liner has been successfully used to replace the gray cast iron engine. For newly emerging Al linerless engine in which the low surface hardness of the aluminum alloy has to be overcome, a few surface processing technologies are used to protect the surface of cylinders. Among them, plasma transferred wire arc (PTWA) thermal spraying coating is becoming popular. Plasma electrolytic oxidation (PEO) coating is also proposed for increasing the wear resistance of aluminum alloy and reducing the friction between the cylinder and piston. In this work, a PEO coating with a thickness of ∼20 μm was prepared, and a high speed pin-on-disc tribometer was used to study the tribological behavior of the coating at oil lubricant conditions. Different surface roughness of the coating and a large range of the sliding speeds were employed for the tests.
Technical Paper

Kinematic Analysis of a 6DOF Gantry Machine

2015-04-14
2015-01-0497
Gantry robots are mainly employed for applications requiring large workspace, with limited higher manipulability in one direction than the others. The Gantries offer very good mechanical stiffness and constant positioning accuracy, but low dexterity. Common gantries are CNC machines with three translational joints XYZ (3DOF) and usually with an attached wrist (+3DOF). The translational joints are used to move the tool in any position in the 3D workspace. The wrist is used to orient the tool by rotation about X, Y and Z axis. This standard kinematic structure (3T3R) produces a rectangular workspace. In this paper a full kinematic model for a 6DOF general CNC (gantry) machine is presented, along with the Jacobian matrix and singularity analysis. Using Denavit-Hartenberg convention, firstly, the general kinematic structure is presented, in order to assign frames at each link. The forward kinematic problem is solved using Maple 17 software.
Technical Paper

A Reconfigurable Algorithm for Identifying and Validating Functional Workspace of Industrial Manipulators

2014-04-01
2014-01-0734
Industrial robotic arms and manipulators are systems that offer technological advances in automation, production, and logistical processes. Therefore, it is vital to understand and analyze the reachability and dexterity of such manipulators. This paper presents a reconfigurable algorithm for evaluation and 3D visual representation of the total workspace and singularity space of two and three degrees of freedom open-ended kinematic chains. A manipulator's performance is greatly depreciated at or near singular regions which may occur as subset(s) in its complete workspace. It is therefore crucial to understand the functional workspace of a manipulator for an enhanced performance in an industrial setting. The implementation of this algorithm requires two inputs namely; the joint type(s), rotational (R) or translational (T), and the Denavit-Hartenberg (D-H) parameters of the manipulator.
Technical Paper

Effect of Surface Roughness and Sliding Velocity on Tribological Properties of an Oxide-Coated Aluminum Alloy

2014-04-01
2014-01-0957
Aluminum engines have been successfully used to replace heavy gray cast engines to lighten the car's weight and reduce the fuel consumption. To overcome the aluminum alloys' poor wear resistance, cast iron liners and thermal spraying coatings were used as cylinder bore materials for wear protection. A plasma electrolytic oxidation (PEO) technique had also been proposed to produce an oxide coating on aluminum cylinder bore. The oxide coating can have a low coefficient of friction (COF) and minimum wear shown in the lab tests. To conserve more fuel, the stopping and restarting system was introduced when the vehicle was forced to stop immediately for a short time. When the engine was forced to stop and restart, the reciprocating speed of the piston was very slow, and the friction between the piston and the cylinder was high. In this research, a pin-on-disc tribometer was used to investigate tribological behavior of the oxide coating on an aluminum alloy.
Journal Article

A Methodology for Investigating and Modelling Laser Clad Bead Geometry and Process Parameter Relationships

2014-04-01
2014-01-0737
Laser cladding is a method of material deposition through which a powdered or wire feedstock material is melted and consolidated by use of a laser to coat part of a substrate. Determining the parameters to fabricate the desired clad bead geometry for various configurations is problematic as it involves a significant investment of raw materials and time resources, and is challenging to develop a predictive model. The goal of this research is to develop an experimental methodology that minimizes the amount of data to be collected, and to develop a predictive model that is accurate, adaptable, and expandable. To develop the predictive model of the clad bead geometry, an integrated five-step approach is presented. From the experimental data, an artificial neural network model is developed along with multiple regression equations.
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