Remil George Thomas, Deepak Lawrence K., Manu R.. STEP AP 242 Managed Model-based 3D Engineering: An Application Towards the Automation of Fixture Planning. International Journal of Automation and Computing, vol. 18, no. 5, pp.731-746, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11633-020-1272-x
Citation: Remil George Thomas, Deepak Lawrence K., Manu R.. STEP AP 242 Managed Model-based 3D Engineering: An Application Towards the Automation of Fixture Planning. International Journal of Automation and Computing, vol. 18, no. 5, pp.731-746, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11633-020-1272-x

STEP AP 242 Managed Model-based 3D Engineering: An Application Towards the Automation of Fixture Planning

doi: 10.1007/s11633-020-1272-x
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  • Author Bio:

    Remil George Thomas received the M. Tech. degree in computer aided design from Sathyabama Institute of Science and Technology Chennai, India in 2002. He is currently a Ph. D. degree Candidate in mechanical engineering at Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Calicut, India. He has been working as a faculty in Department of Mechanical Engineering, Mar Baselios College of Engineering and Technology, India since 2008. His research interests include CAD/CAM/computer integrated manufacturing (CIM). E-mail: remilgt@yahoo.com ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5065-1130

    Deepak Lawrence K. received the M. Tech. and Ph. D. degrees in manufacturing engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Madras, India in 2005 and 2013, respectively. He is currently working as an assistant professor in Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Calicut, India. He has published over 20 papers in various peer reviewed international journals and conferences. His research interests include metrology, CAD/CAM/CIM, and additive manufacturing. E-mail: deepaklawrence@nitc.ac.in (Corresponding author) ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5607-0302

    Manu R. received the M. Eng. degree in manufacturing engineering from Anna University, India in 1999, the Ph. D. degree in manufacturing engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Madras, India in 2009. He is currently working as a professor in Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology Calicut, India. He has published over 30 papers in various peer reviewed international journals and conferences. His research interests include CAD/CAM/CIM, advanced manufacturing processes and machine tool design. E-mail: manu@nitc.ac.in

  • Received Date: 2020-07-28
  • Accepted Date: 2020-12-22
  • Publish Online: 2021-03-09
  • Publish Date: 2021-10-01
  • Fixture design and planning is one of the most important manufacturing activities, playing a pivotal role in deciding the lead time for product development. Fixture design, which affects the part-quality in terms of geometric accuracy and surface finish, can be enhanced by using the product manufacturing information (PMI) stored in the neutral standard for the exchange of product model data (STEP) file, thereby integrating design and manufacturing. The present paper proposes a unique fixture design approach, to extract the geometry information from STEP application protocol (AP) 242 files of computer aided design (CAD) models, for providing automatic suggestions of locator positions and clamping surfaces. Automatic feature extraction software “FiXplan”, developed using the programming language C#, is used to extract the part feature, dimension and geometry information. The information from the STEP AP 242 file is deduced using geometric reasoning techniques, which in turn is utilized for fixture planning. The developed software is observed to be adept in identifying the primary, secondary, and tertiary locating faces and locator position configurations of prismatic components. Structural analysis of the prismatic part under different locator positions was performed using commercial finite element method software, ABAQUS, and the optimized locator position was identified on the basis of minimum deformation of the workpiece. The area-ratio (base locator enclosed area (%)/work piece base area (%)) for the ideal locator configuration was observed as 33%. Experiments were conducted on a prismatic workpiece using a specially designed fixture, for different locator configurations. The surface roughness and waviness of the machined surfaces were analysed using an Alicona non-contact optical profilometer. The best surface characteristics were obtained for the surface machined under the ideal locator positions having an area-ratio of 33%, thus validating the predicted numerical results. The efficiency, capability and applicability of the developed software is demonstrated for the finishing operation of a sensor cover – a typical prismatic component having applications in the naval industry, under different locator configurations. The best results were obtained under the proposed ideal locator configuration of area-ratio 33%.

     

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