by M. Colledani, L. Bolognese, D. Ceglarek, F. Franchini, C. Marine, A. Mistry
Hybrid assembly lines include multiple assembly technologies, such as RSW (Resistance Spot Welding) and RLW (Remote Laser Welding). The early-stage design of these automotive assembly lines is a critical, multi-objective task. The design process is typically carried out in industry by continuous iterations between the process design department and the simulation and systems engineering department. This results in a time consuming and cost-inefficient procedure, resulting in poor first-time right design performance. This paper presents a novel approach and a software platform to support the early stage design of hybrid assembly lines. It relies on the integration on a Process Concept Generator module and a System Configuration module, which in turns is based on analytical performance evaluation models, thus drastically reducing the overall time and cost of the design procedure. The effectiveness of the proposed approach in industrial settings is shown by a real door assembly line in the automotive industry, analyzed within the EU FP7 funded project RLW Navigator.