Jason Warnke

Display States and Complex Multi-Configuration Assemblies

Discussion created by Jason Warnke on Mar 3, 2020

I'm a bit newer to display states.  I haven't used them much in the past, but after reading The missing 5% functionality: DISPLAY STATES by Alin Vargatu I started wondering if I might derive some benefit from utilizing them more in my design.


In my case I am designing fixtures/tooling for automotive - specifically for sub-assembled modules that will go into the car at final assembly.


The challenge I often face is: how do I deal with the variety of configurations of an assembled module (say, a vehicle headliner or rear axle assembly for example) without bogging my computer down with dozens of configurations?  


Modules for a variety of vehicles are often built on the same assembly line, at the same offline tables, in the same work cells, etc, therefore tooling always needs to adapt to a fairly broad range of product characteristics.  New vehicle platforms demanding new tooling mean I am going to be dealing with potentially dozens of variations of a fully assembled module, so tooling can get pretty complex at times.


The first thing I do is an overlay assembly containing the full pertinent variety of the module - whatever I need to be able to nest/clamp/assemble/etc - it all has to be designed around the full range of options.


I need to be able to easily organize aspects of a module into categories. I need to be able to quickly change the state of the product assembly in order to see potential interferences or design-issues with the tooling when running one configuration vs another.


Up until now, I've always used configurations; but my final top assembly typically ends up being a master tooling assembly with dozens of configurations containing a master part/module overlay assembly with dozens of configurations further containing sub-assemblies related to a specific tracking vehicle - often with dozens of configurations themselves.  It helps to have a powerful PC, but the further I get into completing my design, the more SW tends to choke on these uber-configured models.  


Configurations are nice in that I have no problem neatly organizing all of this - It's just, the further along I get the more I come up against the problem of load times and configuration switching and such....I'd really like to be able to keep my assemblies moving fast though. 


That all said - is there anyone out there dealing with similar challenges?  Big assemblies?  Lots of variations to design around?  Do you find display states to be a better alternative to configurations (I like the idea of using display states instead; its just different than what I'm used to - it does not seem like as straight forward an approach as configurations - and I seem to come up against other issues when using them; like getting the display state to show properly in the next assembly up, or displaying different configurations on a final assembly drawing)? 

Any useful tips?