This paper introduces a schema for the product assembly feature data in an object-oriented and module-based format using Unified Modeling Language (UML). To link production with product design, it is essential to determine at an early stage which entities of product design and development are involved and used at the automated assembly planning and operations. To this end, it is absolutely reasonable to assign meaningful attributes to the parts’ design entities (assembly features) in a systematic and structured way. As such, this approach empowers processes such as motion planning and sequence planning in assembly design.Design/methodology/approachThe assembly feature data requirements are studied and definitions are analyzed and redefined. Using object-oriented techniques, the assembly feature data structure and relationships are modeled based on the identified requirements as five UML packages (Part, three-dimensional (3D) models, Mating, Joint and Handling). All geometric and non-geometric design data entities endorsed with assembly design perspective are extracted or assigned from 3D models and realized through the featured entity interface class. The featured entities are then associated (used) with the mating, handling and joints features. The AssemblyFeature interface is realized through mating, handling and joint packages related to the assembly and part classes. Each package contains all relevant classes which further classify the important attributes of the main class.FindingsThis paper sets out to provide an explanatory approach using object-oriented techniques to model the schema of assembly features association and artifacts at the product design level, all of which are essential in several subsequent and parallel steps of the assembly planning process, as well as assembly feature entity assignments in design improvement cycle.Practical implicationsThe practical implication based on the identified advantages can be classified in three main features: module-based design, comprehensive classification, integration. These features help the automation and solution development processes based on the proposed models much easier and systematic.Originality/valueThe proposed schema’s comprehensiveness and reliability are verified through comparisons with other works and the advantages are discussed in detail.
Assembly Automation – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 23, 2018
Keywords: Automatic assembly; Object-oriented design; Assembly feature; Evolvable production system