Assembly is a geometric problem and its success depends on the quality of the mating parts. Design for Assembly (DFA) takes care of the issues such as part handling, insertion and mating, and other features that make assembly an easier and cost effective task. Practical considerations like part deformation during manufacturing, wear and tear of machines and jigs, and other constraints like cost and technical limitations contribute significantly to dimensional and form errors. These factors are usually not accounted for during the DFA, as the data is not as yet available. This results in improper assembly and part rejection at a later stage. One approach of solving this problem is to develop a virtual prototype, which captures the real manufacturing variables by modeling the process impact on the assembled components. The work presented here tries to look at a few issues concerning validation of the virtual prototype (VP) of a manufactured component before assembly.

A Virtual Prototype Assembly Validation Environment dubbed VPAVE was developed to test virtual prototypes of manufactured component in a Virtual Environment for assembly process. We have demonstrated by an example that the VPAVE based validation during DFA can prevent difficulties that may arise during the actual assembly process due to the influence of the production process of the components.

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