Design for Assembly: It Pays to Think Ahead Essay

1077 Words 5 Pages
Introduction

A sometimes overlooked aspect of product development is Design for Assembly (DFA), how the end product will be manufactured in an efficient, cost effective manner. It is not until sometime during the validation phase of the project, that problems are realized. These insignificant mistakes can follow throughout the life of the product if not fixed. Therefore, it is a good practice to keep in mind a few simple guidelines during development.

Post Development Options

Although, not ideal, there are a few solutions to fix the problems during the manufacturing phase. Making assembly fixtures or "jigs" can sometimes make up for what could have been prevented and in some cases be the only solution. Another way to make up
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It can also eliminate tool changeovers. Designers need to also consider consolidating multiple parts into one. A good practice is to evaluate entire assemblies and ask the following questions: Can these parts be composed of the same material? Can I build these features into the main part? Does the part move relative to other moving parts? Doing this will usually end in simplifying the assembly, create higher product reliability and ease of assembly.

Reuse

Another common practice of DFA is to standardize the parts used by leveraging from other projects. It is sometimes easy for designers to try and "re-invent the wheel." It’s in our blood, and why we do what we do. However, taking a step back and thinking of other instances where the same or similar task has been accomplished will be beneficial. Designers can apply the same methods as other proven products, and sometimes, even use the same parts. Incorporating parts from other projects will eliminate the time spent on Designing for Manufacturability (DFM) and the expensive tooling dollars for manufacturing the part. An already proven method will also save time during the validation phase of the project. Using common parts will increase quantities and most likely allow you to negotiate cheaper pricing from vendors. The most important benefit of standardizing parts across projects is that tracking inventory throughout the product's life cycle will be

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