Quasi-Kinematic Couplings for Low-Cost Precision Alignment of High-Volume Assemblies

[+] Author and Article Information
Martin L. Culpepper

Precision Systems Design & Manufacturing Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139e-mail: culpepper@mit.edu

Alexander H. Slocum

Precision Engineering Research Group, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139e-mail: slocum@mit.edu

F. Zafar Shaikh, Gary Vrsek

Scientific Research Laboratory, Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, MI 48120

J. Mech. Des 126(3), 456-463 (Nov 01, 2003) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.1701882 History: Received September 01, 2002; Revised November 01, 2003
Copyright © 2004 by ASME
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Culpepper, M. L., Slocum, A. H., and Shaikh, F. Z., 1998, “Compliant Kinematic Couplings for Use in Manufacturing and Assembly,” Proceedings of the 1998 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Anaheim, CA, pp. 611–618.
Slocum, A. H., Mueller, L., and Braunstein, D., 1997 “Flexural Mount Kinematic Couplings and Method,” United States Patent No. 5,678,944, pp. 1–10.
Culpepper, M. L., and Slocum, A. H., 2001, “Quasi-Kinematic Coupling and Method for Use in Assembling and Locating Mechanical Components and the Like,” US Patent No. 6, 193, 430, February.
Culpepper, M. L., Slocum, A. H., Shaikh, F. Z., and Vrsek, G., “Quasi-Kinematic Couplings for Use in Automotive Assembly,” Issued under US Serial No. 09293-442.
Culpepper, M. L., Slocum, A. H., and Shaikh, F. Z., 1999 “Quasi-kinematic Couplings for Precision Automotive Assemblies,” Proceedings of the 1999 ASME-ICE Fall Conference, Ann Arbor, MI, pp. 61–6.
Culpepper, M. L., 2002, “Design of Quasi-Kinematic Couplings,” Accepted for publication in the Journal of Precision Engineering.
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Culpepper, M. L., 2000, “Design and Application of Compliant Quasi-kinematic Couplings,” PhD Thesis, Cambridge, MA, MIT, pp. 89–108.


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Common types of kinematic couplings
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Quasi-kinematic coupling (contact arcs shown as dotted lines)
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Mating cycle of a QKC joint
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QKC joint designs and corresponding contact imprint patterns
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Case study: Duratec™ engine’s journal bearing alignment
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Cross section through conventional journal bearing assembly (Section A-A in Fig. 5b)
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Assembly error loads on the bedplate and their position/orientation of application
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Position and orientation of QKC joints in the Duratec engine’s block and bedplate
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Form tool used with cast features to make a groove with side-reliefs and a thru-hole
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Stiffness characteristics of a Duratec QKC joint
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Test stand for Duratec alignment experiments
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Alignment hysteresis at journals 1 and 4 for competing QKC joint designs
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Kinematic elements after 60,000 miles in test car
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Results of statistical alignment analysis (α=1)
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Statistical analysis spread sheet




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