Promoted content: design for assembly is the key to industrialization

DFA is an essential part of the industrialization process for complex products, writes Rob Capaldi, Ricardo’s performance product market manager for industrialization.

Ais part of Industrialize Innovation Week we discuss the to treat necessary for transition innovative products from the design phase to developmentment and in production, focuson highly complex physical products operating in performance critical applications.

While following the industrialization process, to ensure optimized investments and keep control of recurring costs, it is vital examine future assembly requirements that will be essential when the product reaches the production environment. For complex products, this consideration will be given by a robust design for assembly process (DFA).

DFA is a Often overlooked part of the design to treat, with many companies focusing their efforts on the headline and high performing functions of their product, rather than on considering the assembly “behind the scenes” to treat. This approach, while useful for promoting the product and arousing the interest of investors and customers, will not optimize the transition to manufacture – which can lead to increased investment to the manufacturing stage and product delivery times.

The application of a controlled and continuous DFA process will contribute to the success of the three areas of manufacturing that determine success: qquality, vsost and Ddelivery performance.

Quality – Taking into account upstream the fixed quality requirements outside by the product specification and destined market will have a direct impact on product design and therefore assembly process. When operating under highly regulated conditions sectors like aerospace, automobile, medical or nakedclear, it is essential that any specific market quality requirements are considered part of the product design and manufacturing process.

Cost – The potential financial implications of assembly challenges are significant. WWhen a product reaches the production environment, the possibilities of making design changes are greatly reduced, tooling will be purchased, and the supply chain established and engaged. For new entrants or companies operating at the “pre-income” stage, unexpected Additional costs when production begins will have serious implications.

Delivery performance – If repairs or assembly problems are identifieded after the start of production, the impact on delivery performance will be significant. Implement a “right the first time”e ‘ approach will ensure minimal rework and ensure on-time delivery.

DFA should to be started at the beginning of the project, ensuring that the assembly process is taken into account at the premiere product design The phase then continued as the product nears production. Aalthough early engagement is preferable to minimize long-term investments, DFA is a essential consideration before the product design is frozen.

When drawings are frozen, the tooling will be confirmed and an important commitment will be made at this stage. Opportunities to optimize the process and reduce assembly costs will be minimal from this point on, early investment in optimizing the assembly process will reduce ongoing costs and ensure the product is produced on time, at a high level of quality and reproducibly and reliably.

This reliability and repeatability will be ensured by apply a “no fault forward” philosophy and for consideration of many key manufacturing requirements during the DFA process, these vary according to the product and the manufacturing techniques used and final product requirements.

The FDFA evaluations should not take place at an isolated point in the product design cycle. TThis is an iterative process that should be started at the design phase and re-evaluated at each stage of the prototype before finalizing To conception freeze and start of transition in the final production environment.

The tools, techniques and process steps used typically include:

  • Definition of the manufacturing sequence to determine tool access requirements and quality control methods
  • Detailed step-by-step sequence analysis to identify design changes that will help the assembly process or mitigate potential quality issues.
  • Completion of “virtual construction” in CaliforniaD to initially review and validate the build sequence, identifying potential problems or failures
  • Definition of quality controls to implemented at each step of the construction sequence
  • Fullion of a process failure mode effect analysis (PFMEA) to analyzee, in detail, potential failure modes and mitigation measures required through tooling updates, facility upgrades, additional inspections, review of process or, in extreme cases, overhaul
  • The PFMEA is usually accompanied by a specific DFA checklist, which will not only examine the failure of the process. modes, but implications some design elements may have on the assembark processes, such as part orientation, material considerations, handling challenges and more

Applying these tools, techniques and process steps will ease the transition from development to manufacturing.

For companies bringing new, complex and innovative products to market, it is essential to apply this approach to ensure “mo Fadults FThe orward methodology is integrated into the manufacturing environment, to minimize ongoing costs and ensure successful product delivery.

To help with the application of this methodology, Ricardo To an easily adaptable, reliable and proven DFA process that simplifies these steps to ensure that the complexity of the process is minimized while maintaining the focus on the ultimate ambition to deliver a product at a high quality level, on time and on time specifications.

Simplified steps in this process enable rapid completion of several of the key stages of the DFA process to accelerate time to market and reduce investment, while maintaining the focus on delivering the end product.

This approach is very appealing to companies that are in the early stages of investing or entering a new product area in which they have limited experience. This will ‘reduce the risk’ of the production phase from the start of the program in the absence of legacy data or prior experience in the planned manufacturing methods, reducing potential future expenses and cash expenses as well. throughout the project. When operating on ‘niche volumes’ the attractiveness of this approach increases – companies that manufacture at these volumes will generally have less opportunity to invest in highly controlled processes due to limited production volumes and high production costs. the flexibility required in manufacturing schedules.

Ricardo has deployed these skills aas well as a variety of market sectors, including the production of medical devices, assembly of handling robots, construction of complex automotive systems, and manufacturing of components for power generation.

To find out how Ricardo’s expertise in industrialization can be applied to your products, visit: or contact us:

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Jenny T. Curlee

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