Using the swept volume to verify maintenance space in virtual environment

Dong Zhou, Xu Jia, Chuan Lv, Le Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Purpose - Maintainability, as an intrinsic property that shows how well a product can be maintained, should be strictly controlled in the design stage. Maintenance space is an important aspect of maintainability and should be verified in the design stage. Methods to verify maintenance space based on expert knowledge or vision cone have been proposed. However, no proper quantitative solutions have been proposed yet to verify maintenance space in the design stage. This paper aims to provide a new method to evaluate quantitatively the maintenance space in a virtual environment by using the swept volume (SV). Design/methodology/approach - An integrated platform for quantitatively evaluating maintenance space in a virtual environment is designed. Virtual reality technology and digital prototype are used to overcome the shortage of physical prototypes in the design stage. SVs are applied to represent the movement of the hand along the entire maintenance process. Maintenance operations are divided into three basic types. Each type of basic operation refers to two quantitative indexes, namely the surface area and the volume of the SV of the maintenance personnel. Data on the indexes are gathered and calculated to evaluate maintenance space. Findings - The proposed methodology can evaluate feasibly and efficiently the maintenance space determined by the layout design of product components in the design stage. Practical implications - Application of the proposed method can help designers reduce the shortness of maintenance space and improve the design layout of products. Originality/value - A method to evaluate maintenance space that employs a quantitative combination of virtual environment and swept volume is pressed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17107760
Pages (from-to)192-203
Number of pages12
JournalAssembly Automation
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Simulation
  • Virtual reality


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