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Chapter 6

Robotization of the Assembly Processes

6.1 General aspects regarding to the assembly process Within the production process, parts are manufactured and assembled together to form the final product. During the manufacturing process, the raw material is processed or transformed into product parts by changing sizes and/or properties of the material. Within the assembly process, the product parts are put together into subassemblies or into final products. The assembly process is determined by the manner and the sequence in which the product parts are put together into a complete product. It comprises a series of subassemblies, which can be divided into pre-assembly and end-assembly. The output of the preassembly consists mainly of subassemblies and the output of the end-assembly consists of final products. The assembly process comprises a set of operations, as follows: a) feeding; b) handling; c) composing; d) checking; e) adjusting; f) special processes. At their turn, each operation of the assembly process can be divided into sub-operations. In this respect: a) feeding operation comprises: storage, separation, and sorting, positioning, orientation. b) handling operation comprises: picking-up, moving, releasing. c) composing operation comprises: insertion, joining. d) checking operation comprises: inspection, testing. e) adjusting operation comprises: aligning, calibration. f) special processes comprise: machining, washing, printing, deassembling, and packing. Assembly represents an important step in the whole production process because this operational activity is responsible for an important part of the total production costs and the throughput time. It is one of the most labor-intensive sectors in which the share of the costs could be 2575% of the total production cost. Practice has proved that the share of the labor cost in the assembly, in relation to the total production costs, are around 45% for car engines, 55% for machine-tools, 65% for electrical apparatus. This is because the automation within the manufacturing process is larger by far than in the case of assembly process.

large high mechanized assembly

batch size

small low

production volume

robotic assembly manual assembly low product variety Fig. 6.1 Selection of the assembly method high




The main factors, which causes less automation within the assembly process, are the complexity of the assembly process and the improper design of the product with respect to assembly. In addition, human assembly accounts around 20-50% of the total throughput time. On the other hand, the automation of the assembly process creates opportunities for minimizing the production costs, for reducing the lead-time, to change faster to external developments and requirements. There are three groups of assembly methods, as follows: a) manual assembly; b) mechanized assembly; c) robotic assembly. The option for one or another of these methods is dependent by: production volume, product variety, batch size and flexibility (see figure 6.1). The robotic assembly is considered as: a flexible automation of the assembly process where the assembly operations (mainly handling and composing) are performed by one or more robots. 6.2 Robotic assembly and robotic assembly system A first step in developing a robotic assembly process it is necessary to design the product such as to be proper for robotic assembly. In this respect, it is very important to be clarified the difference between product design and product development. In principle, product design concerns with setting up the geometry, the material, the processing technique, the design methods, etc. of a new product.

Product analysis Components characteristics Geometrical properties Physical properties Joining characteristics Geometrical relationships of parts Connectivity Degrees of freedom

Design rules

R Reduction of assembly operation Modular design Elimination of components Function integration Reduction of parts variety Parts standardization
Simplification of assembly operations

Minimization of assembly directions Design for easy assembly Eliminate adjustments Avoiding flexible components Good accessibility to assembly places Fig. 6.2 Design for robotic assembly of a product

Product development comprises the activities of a company with respect to a new product, such as: development of the design process, manufacturing plans, assembly, distribution, sales. From practice it is known that design for assembly (DFA) is one of the most important requirements for robotic assembly, DFA comprises all activities with regard to assembly robot finally design. This process can be divided into product analysis and design rules, and are shown in figure 6.2. A robotic assembly system is a structure, which includes operators, one or more robots, flexible peripheral equipment for the assembly of product parts into complete units. The operators in this system fulfil supporting and supervising functions such as: system set-up, filling magazines with parts, monitoring, programming and maintenance. The assembly robots are used to perform the handling and composing operations. The peripheral equipment are involved in performing the remaining assembly operations in the system such as: feeding, checking, adjusting and special processes. The peripheral equipment comprises, among other things, automatic feeding systems, assembly tools, sensors, control systems and safety facilities. A symbolic representation of a robotic assembly system is shown in figure 6.3.

Process control Working environment Working task Adjusting Special processes


Material (input components)

Checking Handling

Output product Feeding



O- human operator; C- robot controller; U- programming unit; R- robot; G- working devices;

P- parts; S- sensors; D- fixture; A- fixing system;

Fig. 6.3 The robotic assembly system

Besides the complexity of the product and process design, the performance of the assembly system is also determined by the degree of synchronization between the assembly system and the manufacturing system, the flexibility of the end-effectors and of the peripheral equipment, as well as by the system configuration. The following two basic configurations can be distinguished in robotic assembly systems: robotic assembly cell and robotic assembly line. A robotic assembly cell involves an independent unit which consists of one or more robots and peripheral equipment, by means of which a complete product is assembled as far as possible. Relatively long cycle times and the relatively large number of various Fig. 6.4An example of robotic assembly cell parts assembled per robot

characterize this structure. An example of robotic assembly cell is given in figure 6.4. A robotic assembly line comprises several robotic workstations, which are installed in series. This structure is characterized by shorter cycle times, a limited number of various parts assembled per station and product transport between the stations. A robotic assembly line can also consist of several cells linked by a transport system with or without a buffer between the cells. An example of robotic assembly Fig. 6.5 An example of robotic assembly line line is given in figure 6.5. In Japan most assembly systems have a line structure, in comparison with assembly systems from USA and Europe where they are constituted in working cells. Practice has shown that robotic assembly offers good perspective in smallto-medium sized batch production with annual production volumes between 100,000 and 600,000 products (8h/day). The production volumes for robotic assembly cells are between 200 and 620 products/hour and for robotic assembly lines between 220 and 750 products/hour. In average, the number of parts/product, which are assembled by robots, is 25 parts and the number of unique parts/product is around 12 parts. Also, not more than 10 unique parts are handled/robot. 6.3 Structure and characteristics of product components with respect to the assembly process Product components are parts of a product or a subassembly. The main characteristics of the product components are: stiffness, vulnerability, shape, size, symmetry, quality level, tolerances and weight. These characteristics influence in a major way the measure in which parts can be separated, positioned, oriented, handled, transported and composed. In this respect, product components have to be viewed as strongly connected with the assembly operations. Example: The determination of the gripping surface of robot gripper is dependent by components size, shape and weight.

For robotic assembly, the product has to fulfil as much as possible the following set of properties: reduction of diversity in product structure; reduction of product variants; reduction of interface diversity; reduction and standardization of modules; reduction, standardization and simplification of joining methods; reduction in variety of product components; reduction of levels of assembly; reduction and standardization of components; reduction of modules variety. In order to simplify the assembly operations such as to reduce costs, to increase reliability and to reduce the cycle time, the characteristics of product components has to be also analyzed from robotic assembly point of view. a) Stiffness is expressed by the elasticity modulus E. A material with a high elasticity modulus is considered stiff and a material with a low elasticity modulus is described as flexible. This property influences the feeding, handling and composing operations. In this respect, components with high stiffness are called non-flexible and those with low stiffness are called flexible. From assembly point of view, the non-flexible components are preferred. The elasticity modulus E can be found from the stress-strain diagram (see figure 6.6). b) Vulnerability is expressed by the wear or damages, which appear to a component due to a dynamic stress (vibrations, shocks, etc.). It can be determined by means of elongation. Parts with high degree of elongation are considered tough parts and those with low degree of elongation are considered crisp parts. A part is considered vulnerable if it is not in the prescribed tolerances after 30 min. of testing on a vibrating feeder. To assess that a part is vulnerable or not vulnerable is more a qualitative process than a quantitative one. A non-vulnerable component is more assembly-friendly than a vulnerable
= F A0

crisp flexible



E = tg =

F l0 A0 l
= l l0

Fig. 6.6 Stress-strain diagram

component. In this respect, a component, which suffers damages only at a drop of 200 mm, is more suited for assembly than a component, which deforms or damages at a drop of 50 mm. Vulnerability plays an important role within the assembly process, mainly with respect to the feeding operation. c) Shape influences especially the composing and feeding operations. This characteristic is expressed by means of the ratio length/diameter. In this respect, components could be divided into round parts and not-round parts. A way in which parts can be divided into the two groups is shown in figure 6.7. According to figure 6.7, flat and cubic components have better orientation properties than long components. Also, long cylinder and disk components have better orientation properties than short cylinder components. d) Size influences especially the feeding operation. According to this characteristic, components could be divided into long and thick. With reference at Fig.6.7, the length of a round part is denoted with L and the thickness is 1/2D. For non-round parts, the length is denoted with A and the thickness with C. It is considered that a part is too long with respect to the feeding operation if between its length L and diameter d is the relationship L>(1/8) d.

L/D < 0.8 ROUND

Disk Short cylinder Long cylinder Flat

0.8 L/D 1.5


L/D > 1.5 A/B 3 A/C > 4 A/B > 3




A/B 3 A/C 4


Fig. 6.7 Component classification according to its shape

Situations from practice which rise up difficulties with respect to the feeding operation are when: the smallest size of the part is larger than 50 mm; the largest size of the part is larger than 150 mm or is smaller than 3 mm; the thickness or diameter is less than 0.25 mm. According to their length, parts are classified in three categories: 5 mm < L < 500 mm; 2 mm L 5 mm; 500 mm L 2000 mm; L < 2 mm; L > 2000 mm. The first class of length is more suited for robotic assembly than the last one. e) Symmetry influences especially the feeding operation. There can be found symmetric and asymmetric parts. Symmetric components have simple orientation characteristics, which have advantages for feeding and composing. According to the assembly operation, there are two types of symmetry: alpha symmetry and beta symmetry. Alpha symmetry is the rotation symmetry of a component around an axis, which is perpendicular to the assembly direction. The value of alpha is the smallest angle through which a component must rotate around that axis to return to a correct assembly position. Beta symmetry is the rotation symmetry of a component around the axis in the assembly direction. The value of beta is the smallest angle through which the component must be rotated to return to a correct assembly position. Figure 6.8 shows the symmetry of product components. Also, the values of alpha and beta for certain shapes are shown in figure 6.9.
symmetric alpha beta Symmetric Asymmetric



Increasing difficulty degree

Fig. 6.8 The symmetry of product components

Increasing difficulty degree

0 0

180 0

180 90

90 180

360 0

360 360

Fig. 6.9 Values of and with certain component shapes

Literature recommends to feed manually components with slight asymmetry. f) Quality the quality level of the input materials influences the whole assembly process. The quality level is related to the proportion of defective input materials. A fraction of defective parts often causes jamming of feeders and also problems during composing. Automation of the assembly process becomes more difficult when the proportion of defective parts x increases. Some researchers consider that a proportion x greater than 2% makes impossible the automation of the assembly process, and difficulties start when the proportion is over 0.1%. The quality of the input materials influences in high proportions the assembly costs. This is shown in figure 6.10. Ca=C1+C2+C3 Where: Ca total assembly costs; C1 prevention costs; C2 basic costs; C3 waiting and waste costs. An increase of the quality level can be realized by optimizing the manufacturing process and ensuring a proper quality control. A strong tool in this respect is the use of FMECA method during the design stage of the manufacturing and assembly processes.
Ca Assembly Costs minimum C1



Qoptimum Fig. 6.10 Influence of the quality on the assembly costs

Quality of the Input Parts

g) Tolerances influences especially the adjustment operation. There are three classes of tolerances S between the peg and the hole which are used to classify parts with respect to the robotic assembly: S > 0.5mm; 0.1mm S 0.5mm S < 0.1 mm. The first class (S > 0.5 mm) is better suited for robotic assembly than the last one (S < 0.1 mm). h) Weight influences especially the handling operation. There are three classes of weight G used in the robotic assembly: 0.1gr. < G 2000gr.; 0.01gr. G 0.1gr. and 2000gr.< G 6000gr.; G < 0.01gr. and G > 6000gr. The first class is better suited for robotic assembly than the last one. 6.4 Robotic assembly strategy The assembly strategy incorporates the choices made at a high level of abstraction from alternative methods in order to enhance the controllability of the assembly process. These choices are especially determined by the product assortment and they significantly influence the productivity of the assembly system. They are choices that are not made per product, but per group of product variants. The choices at this level of abstraction also influence lower-level
Camera Photocell


Circular vibratory bowl feeder

Circular vibratory bowl feeder provided with a vision system

Reject jet

Camera Component Stocked up circular bowl feeders provided with a vision system Desired orientation

Viewing window

Linear vibratory feeder

Figure 6.11 Bulk feeding

elements. The assembly strategy involves the manner of feeding, grasping and transporting. These operations are related to the feeding strategy, gripping strategy and transporting strategy. a) Feeding strategy includes the choices of different feeding ways. These can be grouped in: bulk feeding, semi-organized feeding, organized feeding, and on-line manufacturing. In bulk feeding the parts are fed in large quantities (unarranged) and are subsequently segregated, arranged, oriented and offered in a fixed position to the robot. This is often made by means of vibratory bowl feeders. The choice of this feeding system depends on the material and the geometry of the parts as well as on the desired number of parts to be fed per time unit. With regard to vibratory feeders there are a number of developments such as: linear vibratory feeders, circular vibratory bowl feeders, the placing of different vibratory pans on top of the other. Also, are used vision systems to replace mechanic orientation, resulting in a slight increase of product dependence. Some examples are shown in figure 6.11. In semi-organized feeding, the parts are fed into a hopper in combination with a feeding belt, and provided with a vision system that determines the position and orientation of the components. This system is known as the multifunctional double-belt feeder, an example being shown in figure 6.12. In organized feeding there are two basic methods: feeding in magazines, in which various parts of the same type are arranged in large quantity. There are different types of magazines, the most used being stack magazines and pallet magazines (see figure 6.13). feeding in kits, in which different types of parts are arranged in ratios such that one or more products may be assembled completely. In general, these parts are placed on pallets with a productFig. 6.12 Multifunctional double belt feeder oriented build-up (see figure 6.14).

Stack magazine pallet

Fig. 6.13 Feeding in magazines in organized feeding

Modular kit Kit

Fig. 6.14 Feeding in kits in organized feeding

Fig. 6.15 Feeding by ribbon or strip in on-line manufacture

On-line manufacture entails a complete or partial integration of the manufacturing process with the assembly process, so as not to lose the order of components, which has originated during the parts manufacture. A typical example of partial integration is the feeding of small components in a strip or punched out of a flat ribbon, which are separated from one another during the assembly process. An example is shown in figure 6.15.

b) Gripper strategy in robotic assembly can be distinguished three sorts of end-effectors: grippers: are used for handling parts and assemblies; assembly tools: are assembly expedients for the composition of parts, such as a screwdriver unit or a welding torch; process tools: are machining units, such as: a grinding unit or a milling unit used to carry out special processes. The gripper strategy includes the choice of various manner of grasping. This choice is strongly dependent on the number of different parts to be handled. The following gripper types are involved: fixed gripper: to handle one type of part; multifunctional gripper: to handle two to five different parts, depending on the part geometry. This gripper, who has different gripping surfaces, is generally applied in the assembly of a fixed product family. multigripper: includes various small grippers attached to the robot pulse, with which three to eight different parts can be handled. An important advantage of this principle is the short change time (indexing time) with regard to the handling if various parts. A disadvantage is the relatively large size of the gripper. For a short cycle time, this gripper is generally preferred in robotic assembly cells where a great diversity of operations are usually carried out. A new development in this area is the use of different multigrippers, which are all interchangeable, making it possible to assembly various product families. In this way, higher set-up flexibility is attained. gripper change system: consists of various singular grippers to handle different types of parts. These grippers are lined up in a stand-alone magazine (in the robot working area), as in example from figure 6.16. An advantage of this gripper system is the higher set-up flexibility. An important disadvantage is the relatively long change time of the endeffector, which affects the cycle time. finger change system: is an intermediate type of the multifunctional gripper and the gripper change system. It is suitable to handle various types of parts. The change time is relatively long. universal gripper: is a variant of the human hand for handling various types of parts. From the above six types of grippers, only the first five types are marketed. An overview of these types of grippers is illustrated in fig. 6.17 and the factors contributing to the selection of robot grippers are presented in fig. 6.18.

Fig. 6.16 Gripper change magazine

Gripper strategy Fixed gripper

Component type 1

Exchange time none


Multifunctional gripper






Gripper exchange system



Finger exchange system



Universal gripper



Fig. 6.17 Overview of grippers


COMPONENT - Geometry - Weight - Material - Surface Quality - Temperature

TASK - Type - No. of Different Components - Positional Accuracy - Cycle Time

ENVIRONMENT - Contamination - Interference - Temperature - Humidity

ROBOT - Repeatability - Accuracy - Speed/Acceleration - Lifting Capacity - Power Source - Mechanical Connection

GRIPPER - Weight - Gripping Force - Actuation - Operating Temperature - Jaw Opening/Contact Area - Host Robot - Cost

Fig. 6.18 Factors contributing to the selection of robot grippers

c) Transport strategy involves the choice of various methods of transport, both in robotic assembly cell (micro-transport) and between this cell and any other production system (macro-transport). The transport of parts is often carried out by product carriers, an example Fig. 6.19 Product carrier being shown in figure 6.19. A product carrier is a special pallet used to stabilize the part during transport and composition. By choosing effective mechanical interfaces, various parts may be carried on the same pallet. The various transport methods realize a connection between different assembly stations; therefore the transport strategy is an important determinant in the development of the system structure and the related system layout. The system structure is closely connected to the assembly structure. The transport methods used most widely in robotic assembly are: index-transfer: -involves the synchronized transfer of product carriers, often by means of rotating index tables (synchronized transfer). The application of index tables is determined by the number of parts, as well as by the dimensions and the weight of the parts. The range of this transport method is restricted to assemblies with no more than five to eight parts and to products with principal dimensions of 5100 mm. power-and-free transfer: -involves the independent transport of product carriers by means of a transport belt (asynchronic transfer). This concept mostly occurs in robotic assembly. It can be applied to products with principal dimensions of 25500 mm. This transport method discriminates between on-line and off-line assembly. In on-line assembly the product carrier is situated on the transport system while the robot executes the assembly operations. In off-line assembly the product carrier is not situated on the transport system while the robot performs the assembly operations. robotic transport: -the parts are transported by the robot (microtransport). This transport method is only applicable with light products, owing to the limited carrying capacity of assembly robots and is generally used in assembly cells in which a large variety of operations are carried out. AGV transport: -the parts are transported by means of one or more automated guided vehicles (AGVs). This transport method is mainly used for the macro-transport. Also, are used mobile robots, as a combination between a robot and an AGV, an example being shown in figure 6.20.

Fig. 6.20 Mobile robot

Index transfer

Robot transport

Power-and-free transfer

AGV transport

Fig. 6.21 Survey of transport methods

Some examples of transport methods are illustrated in figure 6.21. For more details about feeders, grippers and transport equipment it is recommended to consult specific literature in the field of logistic systems.

6.5 Structure and operations of the assembly process The assembly structure involves the sequence of assembly operations and the relationship between them. It is determined by the manner in which the product assortment and the product structure are build up from subassemblies and components, which, in turn, determines the relationships between system components. The analysis and the development of the assembly structure follows from the overview of all single assembly operations which are required to assemble a product and as they follow one another in time. The establishment of the correct assembly sequence and the formation of subassemblies are central. Products can be assembled in a large number of possible sequences. This is mainly determined by: simplicity of the assembly process: see the accessibility to the product parts, stability of the assembly during composition, directions of composing, etc. minimal assembly time: see the possibility to perform operations in parallel, avoiding nonproductive moments and tasks, etc. minimal assembly costs: see the possibility to reduce stocks. shared use of system components: see how could be shared different components (grippers, product carriers, feeders, etc.) between different products. high flexibility: see the possibility to assembly parts into final products only after the order specifications. In order to develop the assembly structure, a first step is to establish the product structure. The second step is to determine the degree of dependence of one part or subassembly with respect to the other parts (subassemblies) such as to define a set of constrains and ordering the assembly sequences. In figure 6.22 it is given an example of product structure.
Level 0


Level 1

Subassembly 1

Subassembly 2

Part 3

Part 4

Subassembly 5

Subassembly 6

Part 7

Level 2

Part 1a

Part Part 1b 1c

Part 2a

Part 2b

Part 5a

Part 5b

Part 6a

Part 6b

Fig. 6.22 An example of product structure










Fig. 6.23 Inter-relations between parts

The inter-relations between parts is shown in figure 6.23. I II

2 1 3 4 5 7



1 assembly subassembly 1 2 assembly subassembly 2 3 assembly part 3 4 assembly part 4 5 assembly subassembly 5 6 assembly subassembly 6 7 assembly part 7

Fig. 6.24 Assembly structure based on subassemblies

The sequence of operations is represented in columns, all operations eligible for initial performance being placed in column I. Column II shows the assembly operations which can be performed after some or all of the operations from the column I are carried out, etc. If on a certain column there are more operations, this means that the designer can choose the sequence in which these operations will be performed. In this respect it is recommended to use optimization methods to increase the system performances (ex. CMFD, CAST, Pugh, FMECA, FAST,

6 Fig. 6.25 A possible final assembly structure

FTA, etc.). A final assembly structure for the case presented in figure 24 could be the one shown in figure 6.25. The final assembly structure forms the point of departure for the system synthesis, which will finally result in the development of the system structure. The task of the assembly system is to carry out assembly operations so that the system function will be fulfilled. As it was mentioned in section 6.1, the assembly operations are categorized in: feeding, handling, composing, checking, adjusting and special processes. Also, these main operations are divided in suboperations (see section 6.1). With respect to robot operations within an assembly cell, they are six in number and are included in a cycle as follow: feeding, picking up, moving, composing, releasing and moving. The robotic cycle time shows like in figure 6.26. Cycle time:

t = (t Si + t Ai + t Ci + t Di + t Ei + t Gi + t Fi + t Li )
i =1

where n number of individual stages in one work cycle.

Speed Reach Grasp Move Position Release tS1 tA1 tC1 tD1 tE1 tS2 tS starting time; tA acceleration time; tC constant speed time; tD deceleration time; tE delay time; tG gripping time; tF joining or assembling time; tL release time; tG tA2 tC2 tD2 tE2 tF tL Time

Fig. 6.26 Phases in the robot cycle time

The cycle time is used to estimate the production volume, the system capacity and the system availability. This is closely related to the analysis of the assembly operations. The cycle time of the assembly system is the time required to compose one assembly or product, which is different by the robot cycle time, but is strongly dependent of it. a) Feeding operation is subdivided into storage, separation, sorting, positioning and orientating. In feeding, a choice can be made between feeding each part separately and feeding various parts simultaneously. This choice depends on the product assortment. b) Handling operation is subdivided into picking up and moving. The following phases can be distinguished in picking up: check with sensors whether the part is present; select the proper gripper; determine the position and orientation of the part; move towards the pick up position; grasp the part; move to the end position; release the part. The movement trajectory of the robot is divided into: gross motion; interface motion; fine motion. The gross motion involves a fast movement between the feeding position and the composing position, which is not very accurate. The interface motion is a rectilinear movement and forms the transition between the gross motion and the fine motion. It is a movement of a few centimeters, is slower and more accurate than the gross motion. The fine motion is a very accurate and a very slow rectilinear movement, at the end of this the gripper being activated. c) Composing operation is related to putting down or inserting a part. It follows after the fine motion of the handling operation. The complexity of this operation is strongly dependent by the following factors: the path which has to be followed; the composing direction; the stability of the part after it has been put down; relative faults in dimensions and mutual positions in the assembly system. The controllability of the composing operation is strongly dependent by the robot compliance, which expresses the ability to react compliantly to rather weak forces and torques, while picking up or composing a part. There are two kinds of compliance: passive and active. Passive compliance is the ability of the robot to adjust the path of the handled part to external forces, which occur without feedback to the robot controller.


chamfer crossing

one-point contact

two-point contact

In this respect, the end-effector is designed with a slight rigidity in one or more directions (the principle of remote center compliance). This kind of compliant wrist can only be effectively applied in combination with selfcentering parts, especially in peg-hole connections in which the pin is provided with a chamfer (see figure 6.27). A principle scheme of a compliant wrist is shown in figure 6.28. k
compliant wrist lateral spring

Fig. 6.27 Four stages of assembly angular spring

kx compliance center peg r M Fx Fz Fig. 6.28 A principle scheme of a compliant wrist Lg

In active compliance the robot arm is adjusted (correction of the position and orientation) on the basis of feedback information from a force sensor, which is placed between the robot arm and the end-effector. Parallel robot structures have a big potential for active compliance. Also, SCARA type robots have special designed structures to satisfy better this aspect. d) Checking operation includes inspections and tests in order to determine the quality of the performed assembly process. It is recommended to perform this operation immediately after the composing operation. e) Adjusting operation involves the performance of certain adjusting operations such as gauging of measuring tools, calibration of system components, etc.

f) Special processes refer to specific processes, which may be carried out in the assembly system, such as machining, washing, packing, printing. 6.6 Product and process analysis and redesign for robotic assembly For the analysis and redesign of the product and the related assembly process will be presented a concept called DFAFD (design for assembly function deployment) proposed by Rompesad in 1993. Mainly, this method aims to force the designer to think comprehensively about the product and process design before proceeding to the development of the assembly system. The graphic support of the DFAFD method is shown in figure 6.29.

interactions between system tasks and product & process properties

Correlation between product and process properties

Component properties Difficulty to automate

Process properties Difficulty to automate

Assembly properties Difficulty to automate Degree of importance 3

Task assembly system

Degree of importance

Value weight

Value weight

Value weight

Product components

Technical analysis

Technical analysis

Target value and measuring unit Fig. 6.29 Elements of the DFAFD method

Target value and measuring unit

a) System task enhances the execution of assembly operations so that the system function is accomplished. The system task matrix is shown table 6.1. In table 6.1, R shows the degree of importance of the operations from the level III.
Level I System task matrix Level II Level III Storage Separate Feeding Sorting Positioning Orientation Picking-up System task Handling Moving Eliberation Insertion Composing Joining Inspection Checking Testing Aligning Adjusting Calibration Special processes *** 4 1 T14 T15 1 4 T12 T13 4 1 T10 T11 R 1 1 1 2 3 6 6 6 4 Table 6.1 Code T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 T8 T9

The values for R are given by specialists and are dependent by experience. Value 1 shows a limited influence on the complexity of the assembling process, value 6 shows a very high influence on the complexity of the assembly process. b) Component properties the component and subassembly properties have been put into evidence in section 6.3. To the level of each property it has been established a set of characteristics.

Level I

Level II Stiffness Vulnerability

Component properties matrix Level III Level IV

non-flexible flexible non-vulnerable vulnerability at 200 mm vulnerability at 50 mm L/D > 1.5

Round Shape Non-round Thickness Size Length

L/D < 0.8 0.8 L/D 1.5 A/B 3 A/C > 4 A/B 3 A/C 4 A/B >3 0.25 < l 50 l 0.25 L<2 l > 50 L > 2000 2 L 5 500 L 2000 5 < L < 2000 symmetric - symmetric

Component properties


symmetric - asymmetric asymmetric - symmetric asymmetric - asymmetric 180 symmetric about more axes


Non-round Slightly asymmetric round Slightly asymmetric non-round

180 symmetric about one axis only non-symmetric > 0.1D or > 0.1L < 0.1D or < 0.1L > 0.1A or > 0.1B or > 0.1C < 0.1A or < 0.1B or < 0.1C x < 0.1 0.1 x 1.5 x > 1.5 S > 0.5

Table 6.2 D Code 1 P1 4 P2 1 P3 2 P4 4 P5 1 P6 2 P7 4 P8 1 P9 1 P10 2 P11 1 P12 4 P13 2 P14 4 P15 1 P16 1 P17 2 P18 2 P19 4 P20 1 P21 2 P22 2 P23 1 4 1 4 1 2 4 1 2 4 1 2 4 1 1 2 2 P24 P25 P26 P27 P28 P29 P30 P31 P32 P33 P34 P35 P36 P37 P38 P39 P40

Quality Tolerance Weight

0.1 S 0.5 S < 0.1 0.1 < G < 2000 0.01 G 0.1 2000 G 6000 G < 0.01 G > 6000 snap

Joining method

screwing or adhesive bonding peg-hole (press fitting) welding, soldering, riveting


The component properties matrix is shown in table 6.2, where D means difficulty to automate. According to the characteristics from level IV, it can be evaluated the complexity of the assembly process in correlation with automation of it. In this respect it is used a scale of ranking: 1 easy to automate; 2 less easy to automate; 4 difficult to automate; 6 very difficult to automate. The quantification of these characteristics has been done by different researchers (ex. Boothroyd & Dewhurst, Langmoen). Process properties are strongly correlated with product properties. The matrix of process properties is shown in table 6.3. The values of D have the same significance as in the case of product properties.
Process properties matrix Level I Level II Level III overlapping State feeding during Tangling or resting No Yes No Yes From above From the sides From below Holding down during insertion Aligning Resistance to insertion (force in N) Composing movement No Yes Chamfer No chamfer F < 20 20 F 60 F > 60 Straight line No straight line Level IV D 1 4 1 4 1 2 4 1 2 1 4 1 2 6 1 2 Table 6.3 Code P40 P41 P42 P43 P44 P45 P46 P47 P48 P49 P50 P51 P52 P53 P54 P55


Assembly properties are strongly correlated with product and process properties. The score for D: respects the same scale as in the case of product and process. The assembly properties are grouped in five categories: weight, size (length), number of components, base components. They are connected with the system task components (feeding, handling, composing, checking, adjusting and special process) in order to determine the value weight and finally the quality of the product (assembled). This is shown in table 6.4.

Process properties

Composing direction

Assembly matrix Code

A10 A11 A12 A1 A2 A3 A4 A5 A6 A7 A8 A9

Table 6.4


Size (length)

Number of components

Number of same components N1

Number of different components N2

Level II

Base components 0 no relationship 1 weak relationship 3 medium relationship 9 strong relationship 0 0 0 0 0 0 W5 Wr5 Q5 T5 # Feeding Handling Composing Checking Adjusting Special processes: Value weight(W) Value weight(%)(Wr) Quality level(Q) Target value(T) Measurement unit

Level I Level III

8 4 4 1 1 1

D 1 2 4 1 2 4 1 4 1 4 1 4
3 9 1 0 0 0 W1 Wr1 Q1 T1 gram 9 3 3 0 0 0 W2 Wr2 Q2 T2 mm 3 3 3 0 0 0 W3 Wr3 Q3 T3 #



According to table 4 it is obtained:

where aij is the relationship coefficient (aij {0,1,3,9}).

0.1<G<2000 0.01G0.1 2000G6000 G<0.01 G>6000 5<L<250 2L5 250L500 L<2 L>500 N1<20 N120 N2<20 N220 Yes No 9 9 9 0 0 0 W4 Wr4 Q4 T4 #

Wi = Ri aij , i = 1 , 5 ,
j =1

Wri =

Wi 100

j =1

, i = 1, 5 .

Ti = Wi , i = 1 , 5 Qi = Wi Di , i = 1 , 5 Q = Qi ;
i =1 5

T = Ti
i =1

Qr =

T 100 Q


. The solution is ideal when Q=T or Qr=100. Relationship matrix in order to determine the value weight of each property, it has to be developed the relationship matrix which shows the interactions between system task and product & process properties. For determining the value weight V, it is used the formula:

Vi = Ri bij , i = 1 , m ,
j =1

where: n the number of assembly operations (n=15), m the number of properties on the first and second levels (m=21), RI the degree of importance of the operation from level three, bij the relationship coefficient (bij {0,1,3,9}). The relationship matrix is shown in table 5.

U i = Vi , i = 1 , m Vri = Vi 100
, i = 1, m

j =1


The significance of bij is the same like in the case of assembly matrix, that 0 (or blank) no relationship; 1 weak relationship; 3 medium relationship; 9 strong relationship.

Relationship matrix
Storage Separate Sorting Positioning Orientation Picking-up Moving Eliberation Insertion Joining Inspection Testing Aligning Calibration Special processes Value weight Operation

Table 6.5
Value weight (%) MU Measurement unit # N # # # # # # g mm % mm mm # # mmmm# # # #

Property Stiffness Vulnerability round Shape non-round thickness Size length round non-round Symmetry slightly assymetric
round slightly assymetric non-round

r r


V9 V8 V7 V6 V5 V4 V3 V2 V1

C9 C10 C11 C12 C13 C14 C15 C16 C17 C18 C19 C20 C21

3 3 9 9 9 1 1 1 3 3 3 3 9 9 9 1 1 1 3 3 1 1 3 3 3 3 9 9 9 9 3 3 3 3 3 9 9 9 1 1 1 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 1

V21 V20 V19 V18 V17 V16 V15 V14 V13 V12 V11 V10

V9 V8 V7 V6 V5 V4 V3 V2 V1 V21 V20 V19 V18 V17 V16 V15 V14 V13 V12 V11 V10

C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C6 C7 C8

9 9 3 3 9 9 3 3

9 9 3 3 9 9 3 3

9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9

9 3 9 9 9 9 9 9

9 3 9 9 9 9 9 9

3 3 1 1 3 3 3 3

3 3 1 1 3 3 3 3

3 1 1 1 3 3 3 3

3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

Quality Tolerance Weight Joining method State during feding overlap tangle or nest

Composing direction
Holding down during insertion

Aligning Resistance to insertion Composing movement

f) Technical analysis of components- in order to evaluate the quality of the assembly (the final product) with respect to the criterion design for automatic assembly, it is deployed the technical analysis matrix, shown in table 6.6. In the table 6.6 are introduced all the components. If a certain type of component is in more samples (ex. there are 4 identical screws), will be introduced that component as many times as the number of samples it consists (ex. the screw will be introduced 4 times).

U21 U20 U19 U18 U17 U16 U15 U14 U13 U12 U11 U10

U9 U8 U7 U6 U5 U4 U3 U2 U1

1 1 1 2 3 6 6 6 4 4 1 1 4 4 1



Technical analysis matrix Property code C1 C2 Score M1,1 M1,2 Component 1 Priority(%) Score M2,1 M2,2 Component 2 Priority(%)

C21 M1,21 M2,21


M1 M2

Table 6.6 Target T1 T2

Component k

Score Priority(%)






M i, j = Di, j V j ,

i = 1 , k, j = 1 , m i = 1, k

m M i = M i, j , j =1

Where a certain component i does not depend on a certain property Cj, will be considered Di,j=0, i = 1 , k , j = 1 , m . The priority for each component with respect to each property is determined as follow:
M i, j (%) = M i, j 100 ; m M i, j j =1 m M (%) = 100, i = 1 , k j =1 i, j

The target for each component is:

m Ti = i, j V j , j =1

i = 1, k , Where:

i,j=1 if the component i depends on the property Cj: i,j=0 if the component i depends on the property Cj. Remark: the dependency or not of a certain component i on a certain property Cj appears in the following cases: symmetry: where for a certain component we can consider only one of the property: C7, C8, C9, C10; shape: where we can consider only one of the property: C3, C4; size: where we can consider only one of the property: C5, C6; state during feeding: where we can consider only one of the properties: C15, C16. Also in the case of symmetry, it can be observed that V7=V8 > V9=V10, so it is better to have components dependent on C9 or C10 than C7 or C8. g) Optimization of the design in order to optimize the product such as to fit better the criterion easy to automatic assembly, there have to pass the following steps:

Try to reduce the number of components, starting with those having Mi greater. If some components have the same value of Mi, than it has to start with that having Ti greater; Try to design a certain component such as to have Di,j=1, starting with those properties having Vj greater. The comparison of overall quality between two solutions is performed comparing the following values:
k k M = M j , T = T j , for components; j =1 j =1 5 Q = Qi , for assembly, k number of components. i =1

The best solution is that with M, T and Q lower. 6.7 Design of the working cell for robotic assembly The conceptual design process involves a continuous iterative interaction between product, process and system design. The system design process (the working cell design) should run in parallel and simultaneously with the analysis and possible redesign of both the product and the assembly process. The system has to be design such as to fulfil a set of requirements. The set of requirements can be divided into: demands and wishes, standards, technical performances, economic performances. The economic performances are closely linked to certain technical criteria, such as: assembly strategy, cycle time, set-up time, availability, lifetime and reliability. The technical and economic criteria should therefore be considered quantitatively and in their mutual coherence. For designing a competitive assembly system could be used specific methods: QFD, CMFD, FMECA, CAST, FAST, FTA and economic models which forecast the feasibility. For the analysis and synthesis process of the robotic assembly system, an important step is the function analysis, where are used methods to analyze and develop a function structure which indicates which sub-functions should be realized by the system. A recommended method is the FAST method (Function Analysis System Technique). The FAST diagram shows which functions depend on each other and which functions are in parallel. The procedure consists, in a first stage, in identifying an as much greater function of the system and describing them by a short sentence. The diagram is built by trying to answer at two questions with respect to each function: How? and Why?, choosing as start point any of these functions. The answers at the question How? are put on the left side of the block corresponding to the analyzed function, and those corresponding to Why? on the right side.



Function 1.0

Function 1.1

Function 1.2

Function 2.2

Final function

Function 3.1 Function 4.0 Function 4.1 Function 3.2

Function 6.0 Function 5.1

Fig. 6.30 An example of FAST diagram

The process goes on until to the finalization of the network. During the network development it is possible to identify supplementary functions those established to the beginning of the process. The functions from the very right side are the superior functions of the system and those from the very left side represent the parametric functions. An example of a FAST diagram is shown in figure 6.30. The function structure describes the functions within the entire system and its components, displaying also their relationships. By thinking up concrete system components for each sub-function and combining them creatively, can be developed various system structures. The sub-functions in the system can be formulated with the aid of some symbols. The use of symbols originates in Germany (Pahl & Beitz). Further are presented the symbols proposed by Rompersad (see table 6.7 6.14).

Feeding functions

Table 6.7

Component number

Meaning Feeding with a vibratory bowl feeder

Remarks Component specific

Bulk feeding

Component number

Feeding with stacked vibratory bowl feeders

Component specific

Component number

Feeding with a linear vibratory feeder

Component specific

Component number

Semi organized feeding

Feeding with a multifunctional double belt feeder

Parts are fed on a belt

Component number

Feeding with a transport equipped with a vision system


Component number

Feeding with a stack magazine

Parts are stacked in a magazine Parts are presented in a pallet and are indexed in more than one dimension Parts are presented in a kit in which various parts are stored

Organized feeding

Component number

Feeding with pallets

Component number

Feeding with kits

On-line manufacturing

Component number

Feeding from ribbon

Integrated with the parts manufacturing

Functions associated with feeding and composing

Table 6.8


Meaning Clamping

Remarks To provide stability during the insertion operation


Turning over

Change of orientation

Handling functions and gripper principles Symbol Meaning Handling with a fixed gripper Handling with a multifunctional gripper Handling with a multigripper Gripper strategy Gripper/tool exchanges Finger exchanges Handling with a universal gripper

Table 6.9

Remarks Handling of one component type. No gripper exchange time. Handling of 2 5 different components. Handling of 3 8 different components. Handling of more than 8 different components. Long gripper exchange time. Handling of more than 8 different components. Long finger exchange time. Handling of more than 8 different components. No gripper exchange time. In development phase. The compliance ability during assembly operations. A = Active compliance B = Passive compliance Robot type is determined by the base configuration and the number of degrees of freedom.


Base configuration

Degrees of freedom

Handling with a particular robot type

Checking and adjusting functions

Table 6.10


Meaning Checking

Remarks To check the quality of the executed assembly process. For example calibrate and align of system components.


Transport functions

Table 6.11


Meaning Manual transport


Transport with a transport belt Transport with a index transfer system

Not organized transport.

Synchronized transfer.

Transport with a powerand-free transfer system

Asynchronized transfer.

Transport with the robot

Micro transport.

Transport with a AGVsystem

High flexibility in respect to routing and assembly sequence.

Composing functions

Table 6.12



Remarks Joining by bringing together.



Joining by force.


By means of an automatic screwdriver unit.

Snap fitting

Welding or soldering


Adhesive bonding

Special processes

Table 6.13


Meaning Machining

Remarks Requiring special tools.






Functions associated with the information and energy flow

Table 6.14


Meaning Transform

Remarks Transformation of the electrical energy into pneumatical, hydraulical or mechanical energy Transformation of energy and information

Process control

The design of function structure starts with the development of product structure and assembly structure. An example in this respect is shown in figure 6.31 and figure 6.32.

Base subassembly Subassembly Part 2 3 Part Subassembly 4 5 Subassembly 6 Part Part 7 8


1b 1c








Fig. 6.31 Example of a product structure

5 6


Fig. 6.32 The assembly structure (an alternative) for the example from fig. 31

In figure 6.32, the numbers have the following significance: 12345678910load assembly base and assembly its components; assembly subassembly 2; assembly part 3; assembly part 4; assembly subassembly 5; assembly subassembly 6; checking; assembly part 7; assembly part 8; remove the product.

The robotic assembly system has to be viewed as a black-box having as inputs: material M, energy E and information I. The outputs are: defective components and subassemblies, acceptable assemblies, defective assemblies. This is shown in figure 6.33. A possible function structure of the robotic assembly cell is shown in figure 6.34.
Material Energy Information


Defective components and subassemblies Acceptable assemblies Defective assemblies

Fig. 6.33 Robotic assembly system as a black-box

Defective components and subassemblies

E 7 g f

a l i j

k 10
Acceptable assemblies

Fig. 6.34 A possible function structure of the robotic assembly cell h

Defective assemblies

Solutions 1 Functions Function 1 Function 2 2 3

Function n examples of different variants here: short comments and the sketch of the variant 3 for the function n

Fig. 6.35 The morphological chart

The next step in the synthesis process is to identify the concrete system components per sub-function, in conjunction with the analysis of the product and process variables and after to arrange them into alternative system structures. A possible tool for solving this stage is the morphological method. The morphological method aims to find all possible solutions to a design problem. The graphic support of this method is shown in figure 6.35. The design alternatives are established by choosing for each function one solution from the set of k. In principle could be developed a very large number of alternatives but in practice these are reduced at 36. In the case of robotic assembly systems, could be possible (ex. as in the case of figure 34) to define a set of solutions for the transport function which includes transport with robot (micro-transport). In this respect, in figure 6.36 there are shown different robot configurations, and in figure 6.37 different possible positions of a robot.
Joint axes
Vertical joint arm robot Portal robot

Linear axes
Linear arm robot

mobility position



Joint Linear axes

Scara robot Rotary arm robot Pendule robot

Fig. 6.36 Robot configurations

Hanging position Fig. 6.37 Robot positions

Upright position

Example of morphological chart

Solutions Functions
Transport b

Table 6.15

Function fulfillment / system components

Index transfer Transport belt Rotary Portal Power and free Gripper exch. Vertical joint
robot transport AGV transport


Gripper strategy

Finger Pendule exch.



Robot type

multifunctional Linear vibr. feeder


universal ribbon ribbon ribbon ribbon ribbon ribbon ribbon ribbon

Feeding Feeding

Vibr. Bowl feeder

1 5 4 6 2

Double Double Double belt belt belt

Stack magazine



Linear vibr. feeder

Vibr. Bowl feeder

Stack magazine




Linear vibr. feeder

Vibr. Bowl feeder

Stack magazine



Double belt


Linear vibr. feeder

Vibr. Bowl feeder

Stack magazine




Double belt

Linear vibr. feeder

Vibr. Bowl feeder

Stack magazine




Double belt

Linear vibr. feeder

Vibr. Bowl feeder

3 7

Stack magazine




Vibr. Bowl feeder

vision Linear vibr. feeder

Electrical measurement instrument


Double belt

Stack magazine




Linear vibr. feeder

Vibr. Bowl feeder


Double belt

Stack magazine



Transport Composing

Screwdriver unit Screwdriver unit Screwdriver unit Screwdriver unit


Transport belt

Index transfer

Power and free

robot transport AGV transport

An example of how morphological method is used to establish the concrete components of a function structure for a robotic assembly cell is shown in table 6.15. Figure 6.38 shows an example of a system structure after the use of morphological method. The next step is to develop the layout in 2D (and 3D) of the robotic assembly cell, taking into account the ergonomic considerations, too.

components and subassemblies pallet magazine linear vibratory feeder vibratory bowl feeder stocked up vibratory bowl feeders pallet magazine vibratory bowl feeder

Subassembly base

stack magazine

1 2
subassembly subassembly pin 3 pin 2 screw 5 checking cover pin 1 fuse

5 3

defective components and subassemblies acceptable assemblies clamping

fixture insertion

subassembly fuse clip

manual transport

fault gripper a

unclamping screwing index transfer automatic screwdriver unit defective assemblies

gripper a gripper b gripper c gripper d

gripper/tool exchanges

SCARA robot (RRTconfiguration and 4 degrees of freedom) robot transport

Fig. 6.38 Example of a system structure including component-specific symbols

After the development of several variants of the robotic assembly cell, they are evaluated from economic feasibility point of view using the information presented in chapter 4. Also, for this specific case of robotic assembly, it can be used a supplementary method of economic evaluation called integral productivity method. Finally, will be selected that variant which is the best from economic point of view.

6.8 Economic justification of the robotic assembly system solution Symbols: X stochastic variable; E(X) expected value of X. Economic profitability of a certain conception-design alternative for a robotic assembly system it is identified by means of a coefficient called integral productivity IP. If IP<1 then the adopted solution is not economically profitable If IP1 then the adopted solution is economically profitable Integral productivity is defined by means of the following relationship:

IP =


i =1

Pvi N ai

C la + C cap + C ma + C m


Where: OUP Np Pvi Nai - systems output; - number of products or assembly variants/year; - production value per acceptable assembly variant i; - number of acceptable assemblies of variant I which are produced annually; INP Cla Ccap Cma Cm - systems input; - labor cost; - capital consumption; - material costs; - other costs (energy, workspace, etc.).

In order to determine INP and OUP it has to be identified the terms from table 16.
Table 6.16

No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Symbol ns Clas r I1 I2 Ib Iso Io

Denomination Value Number of shifts/day Annul labor cost/shift Economic life time of system Rate of interest Robot (s) costs Software costs Bulk feeding systems costs Semi-organized feeding systems costs Organized feeding systems costs


see(5) see(6)

Table 6.16 (Continuation)

No. 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36

Symbol Iom Ifg Imfg Img Ige Iug It Iit Itb Ipft IAGV Ifix Iins Iesp Iae Isen Ics Iep Iss Irwr Ieng Iinst Itrain Ired Cmi Fs Cfm

Denomination Value On-line manufacturing costs Fixed grippers costs Multi-functional grippers costs Multi-grippers costs Costs of the gripper exchange systems Universal grippers costs Other tools costs (i.e. screw assembly units) Costs of index transfer systems Costs of the belt transfer systems Costs of the power and free transfer systems AGV costs Costs of fixtures Costs of inspection equipments Costs of equipments for special processes Costs of additional equipments Sensors costs Costs of computers Costs of external programming systems Costs of security systems Costs of the systems for waste rejection Costs with systems engineering Installation costs Training costs Costs with product and process redesign Direct and indirect material costs/assembly variant i excepting the tools Required space (m2) Costs space/m2/year including heating, illumination, security systems against fire, etc.


Table 6.16 (Continuation)

No. 37 38 39

Symbol Nci xij mij



41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51

vI Tci nd nh Nsi Tsui Tji Ncf Tcfi Tsfk Nsys

Denomination Value Number of parts (and/or subassemblies) included within the product i or assembly variant i Probability to have the component j failed in the assembly variant i Probability to have a feeder blockage due to the part j within the assembly variant i Probability the failed part j from the assembly variant i to be not possible to assembly is removed by the robot Percentage from the annual production volume included in variant i Cycle time period/assembly variant i Working days/year Working hours/shift Number of settings up/year/variant i Setting up required time/variant i Blockage time due to part j in variant i Number of failures/year due to the defective parts composing Total time due to the rejection of defective parts by the robot and their replacing with another good one Required time for repairing the failure k and restart the system Number of components of the assembly system A parameter which expresses the life cycle of the component k of the system by means of reliability



Rk (t ) = e k t

Obtained from practical studies

Labor Costs (2) where If is a factor (lf>=1) which is determined function of frequency the human operator has to supply the cell with materials; lf=1 if the feeding operation is not frequent; in practice usually appear situations with l f = 1.1 1.3 .

C = ns C Ias I f

Capital Consumption

C cap =

1 (1 + r )


Where I is the total initial investment.

I = I1 + I 2 + I 3 + I 4 + I 5 + I 6 + I 7 I 1 = I rob k
k =1 Hr

(4) (5) (6)

I 2 = (0.1 + 0.35)C RS
where CRS is the cost of the whole robotic system.

I 3 = I b + I so + I om I 4 = I fg + I mfg + I mg + I ge + I ug + I t I 5 = I it + I tb + I pft + I AGV + I fix I 6 = I ins + I esp + I ae + I sen + I cs + I ep + I ss + I rwr I 7 = I eng + I inst + I train + I red = f n I
where fn is a factor of proportionality. Material Costs

(7) (8) (9) (10) (11)

C ma = C mi N i
i =1



where N i is the number of assemblies carried out in variant I and it is obtained from (27) based on data obtained from the following relationships.

MTBFsys =

k =1

N ysy


where MTFBsys is the average time between two successive breakdowns of the system.

Tsf = Tsf k
k =1


where Tsf is the lost time due to the failure in the system, s number of estimated breakdowns of the system / year.

E (s ) =


( )



where TOP is the operational time / year.

TOP = Ttot Tsu + T pf + Tsf


(16) (17)

Ttot = ns nd nh 3600
the failures within the process.
N jam

is the total available time, TSU is the set-up time and T pf is the lost time due to

T jam =

i =1


(18) (19)

T pf = T jam + Tcf
the lost time with failures is composing process.
N jam

where T jam is the lost time due to the blockages of the feeding system and Tcf is

T jam =

i =1



where N jam is the number of blockages in a year.

E N jam = E N i i =1

( )

( ) 1 x [m x+m m )cf ] (1
N ci ij ij j =1 ij ij ij ij


Tcf = Tcf i
i =1

N cf


Np E (N cf ) = E N i i =1

( ) 1 x x[m(1 m )cf )cf ] + (1 m

N ci ij ij ij j =1 ij ij ij ij

(23) (24)

where A is the cell disposability.

Top Ttot

Tac = Tci vi
i =1



where Tac is the average time of a cycle / assembly variant.

C ap =
where C ac is the cell capacity.

Ttot Tac


N i = C ap Avi
Other Costs


C m = C fi + Ce + C main C fi = Fs C fm Ce = ns f e Ccap
where f e is a factor of proportionality from C cap / shift.

(28) (29) (30)

where C fi is the cost of space floor, C e energy cost, C main maintenance cost.

C main = f main Ccap

where f main is a factor of proportionality from C cap .


N ai = f i N i
where f i is the proportion of acceptable assemblies in the variant i.


E fi =
j =1

( )

N ci

1 xij mij + (1 mij )cf ij

1 xij