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Influence of variations in a mechanical framing station on the shape accuracy of S-Rail assemblies

In virtual production planning, recent publications showed the possibility of creating a digital process chain of body parts including the process steps in the press shop and body-in-white shop. The digital process chain is used to get an early impression of the shape accuracy of assemblies regarding the used single parts. Within the entire process chain a huge variety of factors influence the shape accuracy of (sub)assemblies. However, not every parameter of the deep drawing and assembly process exerts significant influence on the assembly quality and on process stability. Furthermore, the interaction of certain parameters could lead to an improved result at the end of the process chain. Therefore, sensitivity and robustness analyses applying LS-OPT are used to detect factors influencing the shape accuracy of single parts and assemblies. This contribution concentrates on the shape deviation behavior of single parts in the press shop and their state after parameter variations in a virtual framing station. An aluminum alloy 6014 and a mild steel alloy DC 04 steel with a sheet thickness of 1.0 mm are investigated. Parameter variations of self-piercing riveting process are presented in this paper by joining a S-Rail specimen. The S-Rail geometry shows a visible und measurable shape deviation behavior. Finite element methods tools, such as LS-DYNA and Abaqus, are applied to model an S-Rail assembly process. Following a feasibility simulation regarding cracks and wrinkles, the simulation process is used to detect the significance of factors in the digital process chain with respect to shape accuracy of assembled components. Besides this aspect, the finite element simulation is subsequently used to optimize the assembly process of S-Rails in the framing station.