Digital Twins in Self Compensating Assembly Processes

  • This dissertation describes the implementation, validation, and troubleshooting of ``Digital Twins'' in assembly processes of thin structures like parts from the automotive and aerospace industry. As requirements in terms of cost, weight, and human (pedestrian) safety are increasing for modern vehicles, thinner materials are used for exterior components. By that, components become softer but less stable which is challenging for the assembly processes and impacts the resulting quality. The most critical quality measures are gap and flushness as these are affecting aesthetics, wind noise, and fuel consumption of the final vehicle. To compensate for geometrical deviations, parts have adjustable mechanical interfaces which are used to tune in gaps and flushness for each individual assembly. For the components being assembled, individual process parameters depending on the geometry of the actual physical part must be defined. This is a challenging task that cannot be solved in a straightforward manner. However, assembly quality can be predicted by setting up individual Finite Element Method (FEM) simulation models for each part being assembled. These simulation models are called Digital Twin (DTs) as they are enriched with measured properties from the actual physical part. By that, precise predictions can be made and optimal assembly parameters for automated processes are derived. The demonstration use case in this dissertation is the assembly process of exterior car components made from sheet metals. For this kind of process, the geometrical deviations of individual components are crucial and have to be considered by the DT. To capture geometrical deviations, 3D-scanning is employed which provides a high-resolution point cloud representation of the actual physical part. This point cloud is processed further to obtain the DT that preserves the measured geometry. This dissertation tackles the following challenges: (a) setting up DTs on different level of details, (b) correctly post-processing 3D-scanned data to remove systematical measurement errors, (c) automatically morphing meshes to derive simulation models from measured point clouds, and (d) troubleshooting DTs with human-in-the-loop approaches. For all approaches, validations are provided that underline applicability and benefits. All methods and results are discussed on a high-level perspective and connections as well as the interplay between methods are elaborated. Each method either improves or extends existing approaches or provides benefits, i.e. higher precision, compared to existing solutions.

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Author:Felix ClausORCiD
Advisor:Hans Hagen, Bernd Hamann, Ralf Müller
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Language of publication:English
Publication Date:2022/09/26
Year of Publication:2022
Publishing Institute:Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Granting Institute:Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Acceptance Date of the Thesis:2022/07/29
Date of the Publication (Server):2022/09/27
Number of page:XXVIII, 194
Faculties / Organisational entities:Kaiserslautern - Fachbereich Informatik
CCS-Classification (computer science):J. Computer Applications / J.2 PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND ENGINEERING / Engineering
DDC-Cassification:0 Allgemeines, Informatik, Informationswissenschaft / 004 Informatik
Licence (German):Creative Commons 4.0 - Namensnennung (CC BY 4.0)