Simultaneous optimal selection of design and manufacturing tolerances with alternative manufacturing process selection.

Computer-Aided Design 01/2011; 43:207-218. DOI: 10.1016/j.cad.2010.10.001
Source: DBLP

ABSTRACT Tolerance specification is an important part of mechanical design. Design tolerances strongly influence the functional performance and manufacturing cost of a mechanical product. Tighter tolerances normally produce superior components, better performing mechanical systems and good assemblability with assured exchangeability at the assembly line. However, unnecessarily tight tolerances lead to excessive manufacturing costs for a given application. The balancing of performance and manufacturing cost through identification of optimal design tolerances is a major concern in modern design. Traditionally, design tolerances are specified based on the designer’s experience. Computer-aided (or software-based) tolerance synthesis and alternative manufacturing process selection programs allow a designer to verify the relations between all design tolerances to produce a consistent and feasible design. In this paper, a general new methodology using intelligent algorithms viz., Elitist Non-dominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm (NSGA-II) and Multi Objective Particle Swarm Optimization (MOPSO) for simultaneous optimal selection of design and manufacturing tolerances with alternative manufacturing process selection is presented. The problem has a multi-criterion character in which 3 objective functions, 3 constraints and 5 variables are considered. The average fitness factor method and normalized weighted objective functions method are separately used to select the best optimal solution from Pareto optimal fronts. Two multi-objective performance measures namely solution spread measure and ratio of non-dominated individuals are used to evaluate the strength of Pareto optimal fronts. Two more multi-objective performance measures namely optimiser overhead and algorithm effort are used to find the computational effort of NSGA-II and MOPSO algorithms. The Pareto optimal fronts and results obtained from various techniques are compared and analysed.

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