Automatic assembly planning based on digital product descriptions

Seppo Sierla*, Ville Kyrki, Pekka Aarnio, Valeriy Vyatkin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)
110 Downloads (Pure)


This paper proposes a new concept in which a digital twin derived from a digital product description will automatically perform assembly planning and orchestrate the production resources in a manufacturing cell. Thus the manufacturing cell has generic services with minimal assumptions about what kind of product will be assembled, while the digital product description is designed collaboratively between the designer at an OEM and automated services at potential manufacturers. This has several advantages. Firstly, the resulting versatile manufacturing facility can handle a broad variety of products with minimal or no reconfiguration effort, so it can cost-effectively offer its services to a large number of OEMs. Secondly, a solution is presented to the problem of performing concurrent product design and assembly planning over the organizational boundary. Thirdly, the product design at the OEM is not constrained to the capabilities of specific manufacturing facilities. The concept is presented in general terms in UML and an implementation is provided in a 3D simulation environment using Automation Markup Language for digital product descriptions. Finally, two case studies are presented and applications in a real industrial context are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-46
Number of pages13
JournalComputers in Industry
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • 3D simulation
  • Assembly planning
  • AutomationML
  • Digital twin
  • IEC 62424
  • Product-centric control


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