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Proceedings Paper

Flexible Assembly And Inspection of a Small Electric Fuel Pump
Author(s): Charles Jacobus; Woo-Dee Lee; Jeff Norton
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Paper Abstract

This paper describes the process of designing and building a flexible manufacturing cell for small electric fuel pumps. The cell incorporates special fixturing, a commercially available robot manipulator, a material delivery/removal system, and a computer vision system for inspection during assembly. This application demonstrates the close relationship between product design for easy manufacture and manufacturing process design for automated assembly. To facilitate single robot assembly, the electric pump chosen was redesigned to eliminate several hard to execute assembly steps. This, as is usually the case, was possible without cost or performance compromise. By incorporating computer vision into the assembly cell, variations in orientation and position of the incoming kitted parts are tolerated. Also, defective pieces, or faulty robot manipulations are identified before wasting more time or material on ultimately disfunctional assemblies. The faulty pieces can be flagged and stored for later rework. Records of successful and unsuccessful (categorized by failure mode) assemblies are kept for later review. To successfully automate the assembly of complex products (more than 15 subcomponents), the entire product design and manufacturing flow must be evaluated and comprehended. The design must anticipate automated manufacture, and errors or defects in the manufacturing process must be anticipated and checked by in-process inspection systems. The design modification and assembly of an electric fuel pump is a useful case study illustrating these principles.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 December 1985
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 0579, Intelligent Robots and Computer Vision IV, (11 December 1985); doi: 10.1117/12.950843
Show Author Affiliations
Charles Jacobus, Industrial Technology Institute (United States)
Woo-Dee Lee, Industrial Technology Institute (United States)
Jeff Norton, Industrial Technology Institute (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0579:
Intelligent Robots and Computer Vision IV
David P. Casasent, Editor(s)

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