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Advances in Modular Design: Optimizing Mechanical Connections for Hi-Mix, Low-Volume Product Designs

[+] Author Affiliations
Mark Lesher, Guy Prendergast

Halfen USA, Inc., Converse, TX

Rafael Moras

St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, TX

Paper No. IMECE2015-53492, pp. V015T19A018; 9 pages
doi:10.1115/IMECE2015-53492
From:
  • ASME 2015 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 15: Advances in Multidisciplinary Engineering
  • Houston, Texas, USA, November 13–19, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5758-8
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME

abstract

In a previous study, we analyzed the life cycle cost impacts of component location changes as applied to rolling stock products [1]. Here, we present the results of an analysis that quantifies the costs of changing heavy-duty connection locations in modular fabrication designs. Modules that are fitted together usually include multiple lines of piping, cabling, and other connections, which can be problematic when the design may change due to out-of-tolerance dimensions or design requirements that change prior to installation. Also, design changes after site delivery may require frequent location changes for components that are mounted within modules. Inflexible connections internal to the module or chassis may hinder module-to-module connections in the field, where changes are difficult, hot work is dangerous, and quality of repair is dubious. The aim of this analysis was to evaluate the costs to change various types of pipe connections between modules and the costs to change component locations within modules. In addition to allowing mounting locations to be easily changed between and within modules, adjustable connection points enhance the modularization and customization of products at the lower levels of production associated with the energy, shipbuilding and rolling stock industries.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME

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