Design, simulation and experimental investigation of a novel reconfigurable assembly fixture for press brakes

  • Olayinka Olabanji
  • Khumbulani MpofuEmail author
  • Olga Battaïa


A reconfigurable assembly fixture is a major and important component of a reconfigurable assembly system. It is required for the assembly of a variety of press brake models in order to reduce the assembly time and overall production time. The stages and requirements for the design of an assembly fixture and understanding of the assembly process for press brake models were used to design a reconfigurable assembly fixture. A detailed design analysis of parts of the fixture and the hydraulic system is considered and presented in this article. The stress and displacement analysis of the parts is executed using Solidworks express simulation. The parameters of the hydraulic components were determined from force requirements, and the hydraulic system was modelled physically using Matlab Simscape hydraulics. The response of the hydraulic system was obtained for each actuator in the system in order to depict the output of the actuators from the spool displacement of the valves. Stress analysis conducted on parts of the fixture showed that it can withstand maximum stresses that are lesser than the yield strength of the material used for the part. It was also established that synchronization of hydraulic actuators can best be achieved by the use of a sine input to the electrohydraulic valve. An experimental investigation was done using FESTO hydraulic test bench in order to observe the synchronized extension and retraction of the hydraulic actuators. The simulation of the hydraulic system, electric system and the programmable logic controller was prepared using automation studio. The design is envisaged to provide the industries with relevant information on accurate location and gripping of press brake frames rather than turning and repositioning of the frame in order to fit other parts during assembly. The article provides relevant information on the design analysis of a reconfigurable assembly fixture for press brakes which is novel because articles on reconfigurable assembly fixtures have not considered its application to press brake assembly.


Design Reconfigurable assembly fixture Assembly systems Manufacturing Hydraulic system Stress analysis 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tshwane University of TechnologyPretoriaSouth Africa
  2. 2.Henri Fayol Institute, Ecole des Mines de Saint-Etienne, FranceSaint-EtienneFrance

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