On site at Virtual Development Laboratory (VDL), Chalmers University of Technology and Online via ZOOM
Opponent: Fredrik Elgh, Jönköping University
Examiner: Rikard Söderberg, IMS
In the aerospace industry, a nominal product geometry can be designed to deliver optimal aerodynamic and structural performance. However, when we fabricate this product, the product is afflicted with geometrical variation and other kinds of quality problems. Thus, at the end of the fabrication process we might obtain a product which it is not what we intended. In this type of industry, manufacturing quality problems can cause costly and time-consuming repairs and redesign loops.
Until now, the evaluation of the effect that design concepts has on producibility criteria in the case of welded highly integrated performance aerospace components had relied to a great extent on expert judgement and physical testing. However, if the objective is to analyze a large number of geometrical design variants, this approach may become costly. The consequence is that integrated products are first evaluated and optimized towards performance, thus leaving producibility assessments in second place.
Thus, the key questions with which to assess producibility during the design process of highly integrated performance products that are welded are: Can we produce this design and at what quality level and cost?
The thesis results support designers at assessing producibility by predicting virtually and rapidly the welding quality of a large number of product design variants during the multidisciplinary design space process of fabricated aerospace components.
The research presented in this thesis has focused on producibility problems for the particular case of welded components in highly integrated performance applications. This research has aimed at contributing an understanding, as well as, providing support in the form of a framework, methods and tools to the field of Quality Engineering in general and Quality-Geometry Assurance and Variation Management in particular.