Performance evaluation of a smart welding fixture and jig assembly.

Sibanda, Palesa S.
Daniyan, Ilesanmi A.
Mpofu, Khumbulani
Sekano, Elvis P.
Seloane, Walter T.
The increasing global competitiveness, dynamic customers’ and markets requirements as well as the bottom-line of profitability necessitate the use of smart welding fixture and jigs as work holding and locating devices during component parts manufacturing. This study presents the performance evaluation of a smart welding fixture and jig for welding operation. The smart welding fixture and jig assembly consists of a compressor, proximity sensors, thermostat, cooling system, clamping elements, fixture body support, cables as well as a control panel for pre-programming the conditions for the welding operation. The performance evaluation was carried out by comparing the pressure and the time taken for clamping and unclamping activities. The pressure selected for the evaluation ranges between 241 316.6 Pa - 792 897.4 Pa while measurement was taken in terms of the time it took the edges-gripping clamps to return to their initial states. The results obtained also show that at as the pressure increase, there was a decrease in the time taken for the clamping and unclamping activities up to 379 211.8 Pa. Further increase in the pressure beyond 379 211.8 Pa first resulted in an increase in the time taken up to 792 897.4 Pa. When the pressure was increased beyond 792 897.4 Pa, it was observed that the time taken for the clamping and unclamping activities begin to increase and later reduces. The machine demonstrated the potential for saving 32.26% of the total time during the manual operation when the machine is operated in an automatic mode. This study provides empirical findings that can assist manufacturing industries particularly those who employ welding as a means of product fabrication in achieving welding operations in a timely and cost-effective manner with less human intervention.
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Roman Science Publications
Research Projects
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Clamping and unclamping activities, Fixture and jig assembly, Sensors, Welding operation
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