Status: Need is Closed

Reconfigurable Nest to Hold an Assembly at Each Manufacturing Stage

Request Number

Point of Contact
Need was closed on
Jan 1

Yanfeng Automotive seeks a universal nest that can hold an automotive interior component during assembly that can reconfigure on demand to hold a different-shaped component.



Currently, Yanfeng Automotive purchases unique nests for automotive component (i.e. door panel) assembly that hold the base part in place while other features are attached to the base using ultrasonic welding, hot heat-staking with cold air, or cold-staking (with hot air).  Features may include sound-deadening materials, map pockets, and speakers.  Each assembly step is a stationary process.


For automated assembly, Yanfeng Automotive purchases unique jigs that hold each part/variant that comes down the assembly line.


Key success Criteria
  • Reconfigures on demand
    • Nest adjusts to a new form based on a digital input
  • Won’t stain, mar, scratch or directly deflect the A-surface of the base component so as not to leave a permanent mark.
  • Maximum size ~1.2m wide by 0.7m tall
  • Y Direction: Range of 0 to 50 pounds per point load, there are typically about 50 point loads per door panel. Note: We will consider solutions for both ends of the spectrum (i.e., will consider a solution that can only withstand a low point load.)
  • X-Z Direction: We minimize movement in the X-Z direction by compressing in the Y direction with hold-downs
  • Wear: We expect the surface of the jig to last 1 million cycles


Possible Approaches
  • Shape Memory Alloys (SMA) or Magnetic Shape Memory Alloys (MSMA’s)
  • Soft actuators or granular jamming achieved with pneumatic actuators
  • Electrolaminates
  • Serve-screw driven actuation of multiple plungers


Due Date
Dec 31, 2019
Items to be submitted

How to Respond:

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Client Point of Contact

Chih-her Suen
Fran Elenbaas
Gallery Moderator(s)
Jos Cenens
Request Number
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Area of Interest