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Conceptual Design Environment For Automated Assembly Line – Framework

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Teaching Design in Manufacturing Curriculum II

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

12.395.1 - 12.395.9



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Paper Authors


Sheng-Jen Hsieh Texas A&M University

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Dr. Sheng-Jen (“Tony”) Hsieh is an Associate Professor in the College of Engineering at Texas A&M University. He holds a joint appointment with the Department of Engineering Technology and the Department of Mechanical Engineering. His research interests include engineering education, cognitive task analysis, automation, robotics and control, intelligent manufacturing system design, and micro/nano manufacturing. He is also the Director of the Rockwell Automation laboratory at Texas A&M University, a state-of-the-art facility for education and research in the areas of automation, control, and automated system integration. Dr. Hsieh received his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Conceptual Design Environment for Automated Assembly Line – Framework Abstract

Automated systems play an important role in our daily life and our national economy. Educating students about how to design automated assembly systems is very important. However, education in this area most often takes place in senior design courses. This may be because of the multi-disciplinary nature of the problems and the high cost of automated equipment. In this paper, we present a prototype web-based system called the Automated Assembly Line Design (AALD) environment that allows users to rapidly create and compare conceptual designs of automated assembly line systems in a systematic way. In addition, the prototype allows instructors to post new problems and to monitor how students design assembly line systems using a mouse-tracking feature.

1. Introduction

Automated systems play a significant role in our daily life and national economy. They are used to manufacture everyday products such as golf balls, cookware, and cell phones. They are also used for applications such as luggage sorting conveyor systems at major airports, control of roller coasters at amusement parks, and automated robotic welding lines in the automobile industry.

Traditionally, engineering courses have covered only selected automated assembly line design concepts, usually in the context of teaching some other topic. For example, in industrial engineering, workstation design, assembly line design and line balancing are covered in courses on production systems. In mechanical engineering, design of devices such as material handling trays are covered in mechanical design courses. There is typically no single course that addresses automated assembly design issues.

Education on the big picture of system integration is typically accomplished via capstone courses or senior design projects1. In this type of instruction, students are expected to learn by doing, and learning outcomes may vary depending on the type and difficulty of the selected projects. Another approach is to create an interdisciplinary course, such as Industrial Automation2, which allows students from different disciplines—such as mechanical and electrical engineering—to enroll. This approach can bridge the gap and create a common language across disciplines. Hsieh3 described a need to better understand how engineers develop expertise in automated system integration and to design high quality educational curricula that will equip students with the necessary skill sets.

In the area of software design, reported efforts include the design of Delmia IGRIP software4,5, Adept Digital Workcell Design Software (formerly SILMA software)6, and FESTO Cosimir7,8. The primary focus of these software programs are off-line simulation, cycle time calculation, programming, interference checking; and they are not web based. This paper describes a design framework for an automated assembly line design toolkit. This toolkit, which was developed by the author as part of an NSF CCLI grant, is designed to allow users to systematically design and

Hsieh, S. (2007, June), Conceptual Design Environment For Automated Assembly Line – Framework Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2339

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