Development of a New Jointing System for Open Plan Office System
Dolah, Mohd Shahrizal (2006) Development of a New Jointing System for Open Plan Office System. Masters thesis, Universiti Putra Malaysia.
Most modern offices use open plan office system due to the flexibility of the product. The open plan office system (OPS) can be customized from low screen to high screen and can be installed and dismantled according to the office needs. According to MIDA (Malaysian Industrial Development Authority) the total sales for Malaysian office furniture industries was RM 1.6 billion in 2003 of which 7.2% (115 million) comes from sales generated from the open plan office system. The sales report showed the importance of the open plan office system in creating the office environment. Since the demand of OPS is increasing, effective ways of assembling the system is required. Most OPS manufacturer uses bolts and nuts as a jointing system. However, this jointing system requires many parts and the assembly process is time consuming. Based on a survey carried out on 26 OPS manufacturers, the main criteria of the jointing system design identified were those that can increase efficiency and facilitate assembly. One of the important functions of the jointing systems is to ensure that the system is flexible during the assembly process. Based on these findings, the study looked into various jointing system design concepts and the different materials that can satisfy all the requirements. Two designs of the jointing system have been proposed in this study. The designs were based on the snap fit concept and referred to ‘Design for Assembly’ (DfA) guidelines. Design proposal 1 is based on cylindrical or annular snap fit joint concept and design proposal 2 is based on a cantilever lug snap fit joint concept. The assembly and strength of the joints of the proposed designs were simulated using ‘COSMOSXpress 2003’ software with reference to the tile system model. The simulation showed that the new jointing system complied with all the requirements of the design factor specified by the manufacturers and DfA guidelines. It showed that the new jointing system is better than bolt and nut joint not only in terms of ease of assembly but also efficiency. The simulation results showed that although both design proposal 1 (cylindrical) and 2 (cantilever) were similar in many aspects which are easy to assembly, reduce time, light weight and reduce part, but design proposal 1 failed the strength test. The advantage in strength makes design proposal 2 is a better choice.
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