Efficient Variation Simulation of Spot-Welded Assemblies
Variation simulation for assembled products is one important activity during product development. Variation simulation enables the designer to understand not only the features of the nominal product but also how uncertainty will affect production, functions and the aesthetic properties of the final product. For parts that are able to deform during assembly, compliant variation simulation is needed for accurate prediction. For this the Finite Element Method (FEM) is used. Despite many effective efforts to decrease simulation times for compliant variation simulation, simulation time is still considered an obstacle for full scale industrial use. In this paper, a new formulation for compliant variation simulation of assemblies that are joined in sequential spot-welding will be presented. In this formulation the deformation in the intermediate springback steps during the simulation of a spot-weld sequence do not have to be calculated. This is one of the most time consuming steps in sequential spot-welding simulation. Furthermore, avoiding the intermediate springback calculation will reduce the size of memory of the computer models since the number of sensitivity matrices is reduced. The formulation is implemented using the latest developments in compliant variation simulation, that is the Method of Influence Coefficients (MIC) where the Sherman-Morrison-Woodbury-formula is used to update the resulting sensitivity matrices and the contact and weld forces are solved using a Quadratic Programme (QP). Industrial cases are used to demonstrate the reduced simulation time. It is believed that the reduction in simulation times will have future implications on sequence optimization for spotwelded assemblies.