Efficient Spot Welding Sequence Simulation in Compliant Variation Simulation

R. Sadeghi Tabar, S. Lorin, C. Cromvik, L. Lindkvist, K. Wärmefjord, R. Söderberg. J. Manuf. Sci. Eng. 1-13. 12 January 2021.


Geometrical variation is one of the sources of quality issues in a product. Spot welding is an operation that impacts the final geometrical variation of a sheet metal assembly considerably. Evaluating the outcome of the assembly, considering the existing geometrical variation between the components, can be achieved using the Method of Influence Coefficients (MIC), based on the Finite Element Method (FEM). The sequence with which the spot welding operation is performed influences the final geometrical deformations of the assembly. Finding the optimal sequence that results in the minimum geometrical deformation is a combinatorial problem that is experimentally and computationally expensive. Traditionally, spot welding sequence optimization strategies have been to simulate the geometrical variation of the spot-welded assembly after the assembly has been positioned in an inspection fixture. In this approach, the calculation of deformation after springback is one of the most time-consuming steps. In this paper, a method is proposed where the springback calculation in the inspection fixture is bypassed during the sequence evaluation. The results show a significant correlation between the proposed method of weld relative displacements evaluation in the assembly fixture and the assembly deformation in the inspection fixture. Evaluating the relative weld displacement makes each assembly simulation less time-consuming, and thereby, sequence optimization time can be reduced by up to 30%, compared to the traditional approach.

Photo credits: Nic McPhee