The Design for Assembly Process

Design for Assembly (DFA) engineering practices are a set of techniques used to simplify the assembly process of manufactured products. Generally related to Design for Manufacturing (DFM), it involves analyzing an existing product design and then modifying it, as necessary, to make the assembly process easier and quicker. The goal of the DFA process is to minimize the number of parts that need to be assembled, reduce cost and time, and increase product reliability.

The benefit of using a DFA process is to reduce the complexity of assembling a product. It should also work to maximize quality, reliability, and usability. By using DFA in product design, manufacturers can realize improved production speed, lower material costs and waste, increased worker safety, decrease assembly time, and improve part functionality.

Further benefit can be found throughout the supply chain process from the reduced BOM size, vendor count, and potentially easier to source parts. Firms that employ DFA processes can see benefits well into the manufacturing process. This includes reduced ECR reporting and after sale service issues. Additionally, products designed by DFA are easier to maintain or repair because all components are easily accessible. 

The design for assembly process generally consists of the following steps:

1. Identifying Parts

The first step is to identify all the components needed for assembly. This includes determining the quantity of each part required. It should highlight any alternate designs or materials which can be used instead. This information can be easily found in a company’s PLM and MRP systems.

2. Evaluating Part Design

After identifying parts, they must be evaluated based on their design. This includes checking if any modifications can be made to make the part manufacturing process more cost-effective, easier, and faster.

3. Considering the Assembly Process

At this point, the design must be evaluated based on how easy it will be to assemble. Any parts which are difficult or time consuming to fit should be reconsidered for redesign or replaced with alternate parts.

4. Optimizing the Design

After evaluating the assembly process, any changes which can reduce cost, weight, or time of assembly should be explored and implemented. Product BOMs are also updated with the changes to part count and types.

5. Evaluating the Final Design

Once all possible modifications have been considered and implemented, the final design should be tested for reliability and efficiency before being put into production.

Bringing it all together

Design for Assembly engineering practices are an important part of product development. Specifically, they can reduce costs, time, and increase product reliability. By following the steps outlined above, manufacturers can ensure their products are designed for an optimal assembly process. 

Looking to more efficiently manufacture your products? It’s time to consider moving to a PLM solution like Aligni to manage the changes and updates that go along with design for assembly engineering results. Sign up for Aligni PLM today and get working right now!

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