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Introduction to Design for Manufacture and

Assembly (DFMA)


Center for Aerospace Systems Design & Engineering

Department of Aerospace Engineering
Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay
Overview of DFMA
Why and when:
• Early manufacturing knowledge improves product
• Examples of benefits
• DFMA in world war ii
What is integrated design and manufacture
Overview of DFMA ( 2 )
ƒ How to achieve integrated design and manufacture
- BDI software
- Acceleration sensing unit
- Worked example
- Power supply of Laser Tx high voltage
Successful and Problematic cases of
Product Development
Attainment of design and manufacturing
Weapon % of dwgs. % of critical mfg. Program
system Completed prior to Processes in control at experience
mfg. production
Best At least 90% dwgs. All critical Processes Meet cost &
practice Completed In statistical Control Schedule
Aim-9x 95% Unknown 4% Unit cost
(Air-air Increase
missile) 1 month
F-22 26% 44% 23% unit cost
FIGHTER Increase 18 month
Production Delay
Attainment of design and manufacturing
knowledge (2)
Weapon system % of dwgs. % of critical Program
Completed Processes in experience
prior to mfg. control at
F18 E/F fighter 58% * 78% No unit cost
Increase 3 months
Production Delay
Patriot Advanced 21 % 35 % 159 % unit
Capability (PAC-3) Cost Increase
Missile 39 month
Production Delay
Advanced Threat 21% 0% 182 % unit
Infrared Counter- Cost Increase
Measures/Common missile 34 month
Warning system
Production Delay
Benefits of DFMA
ƒ There is a much better opportunity to meet predicted cost
schedule and quality targets when the manufacturing
process data is captured early
ƒ F 18 E/F has 42% fewer parts than C/D even though it is
25% larger
- Production costs
- Defects
- Rework
ƒ By applying DFMA BDI software & variability reduction
techniques in the process
Benefits of DFMA ( 2 )

Tomohawk cruise missile

Strategic Tactical

Parts 11500 7500

Fasteners 2500 800

Circuit cards 45 22

Connectors 160 45

Assembly/ test Hours 610 195

Unit production Cost $1000,000 $500,000

Assembly time for
Ball cage device
Reduced to 15sec
From 130 sec.

8 screws to no
DFMA method
Of eliminating
Fasteners Assembly
From 83 to 54

Total assy.
Time 592sec.
To 277 sec.
Ribbon base
Diablo printer
Old design 77
New design
36 parts
Reticle assembly
Original design
Texas Instruments
Reticle assembly
New design
Comparison of original new designs of
Reticle assy.
Original redesign Improvement %
Assy. Time hrs 2.15 0.33 84.7

No. Of diff. Parts 24 8 66.7

Total no. Of parts 47 12 74.5

Metal fabrication 12.63 3.65 71.1

Time hours
Weight lbs. 0.48 .26 45.8

Option 1
Pilots instrument

Long bow apache

AH-64D helicopter
Boeing company

Option 2
Pilot’s instrument panel

Original New Panel

Panel (option 1)
Parts count 74 9

Fabrication time hrs. 305 20

Assy./Installation time 149/153 8/153

Total time hrs. 697 181

Weight kg. 3.0 2.74

Cost $ 56000 15000

Advantages of DFMA
ƒ Typical results of DFMA application
ƒ Results of 88 published case studies
• 51% parts count reduction
• 37% parts cost
• 50% time to market
• 64% in assembly time
• 57% in manufacturing assembly time
• 58% in assembly operations
• 69% in separate fasteners
• 68% in assembly defects
• 57% in service calls
68% in improvement in quality and reliability
Advantages of DFMA
ƒ Ford $ 1.2 billion in ’87 using DFA alone
ƒ GM 30-60% on certain projects in ’89
ƒ MD-11 cargo liner savings per aircraft $ 86,000, a bulkhead –
cost saving $4,000
ƒ McDonnel Douglas has ranged 36-96% parts count reduction
on several of its aircraft component assemblies
ƒ FA-18 CD bay shelf design savings
• 84% in number of parts
• 73% in cost
• 11% in weight
• 89% in assembly time
Benefits of DFMA

ƒShorter developmental schedules and reduced cycle times.

ƒBetter first article quality

ƒDevelopment of robust product designs

ƒEasier transition of designs to production

ƒBetter supplier product integration

ƒMore effective risk management

McDonnel Douglas experience
ƒ Reduce number of parts and fasteners used on aircraft
ƒ It means fewer opportunities for defects
ƒ For each fastener there is the chance that the hole will be
drilled in the wrong place or be the wrong size
ƒ By reducing the number of fasteners – numbers of defects
reduced, therefore, produce a higher quality product
ƒ Weight is critical. Fuel costs approximately $50,000 per pound
of aircraft weight over 6000 hrs of the life of the aircraft
ƒ There are 179000 on the FA-18 CD fasteners
ƒ In previous models several parts were made of sheet metal
because machined parts were unable to reach minimum gage
ƒ With high speed machining – thinner gauge limits have
become possible



SIZE 254 x 117 x 86 mm 254 x 117 x 78 mm
MACHINING TIME 18.1 Hours 8.3 Hours
MACHINING COST Rs 559.17 Rs 256.75
DFMA in world war II

World war II experience:

ƒ US aviation industry grew ten fold

ƒ P-51 mustang fighter

- To facilitate ease of manufacture stabilizers fins

wingtips squared off

- Fuselage – three sections- complete plumbing, cable

disconnects to facilitate assembly and disassembly for
packing and shipping
DFMA in world war II (2)

ƒ DFMA influence on design of Grumman F-6f hellcat

- Used fewer compound curves in

External design-ugly- severely Clipped wings

- Produced in large quantities

- 32 kmph slower than F4U heritage 1980

ƒ DFMA influence permitted shipment by boat or land. Out

wing panels and even tail assemblies removed and replaced
at the destination point.
Spitfire vs. Messerchmidst

ƒ In 1940 Me’s outnumbered Spitfires three to one. Design

attributable to DFMA philosophy. Me’s 4000 labor hours
to spitfire 13000 hours

ƒ Air war historians designate Spitfires as the better

aircraft, the long and successful career of Me 109s during
the Arab Israeli war 1948 demonstrated that major
attention to DFMA produces effective aircraft design even
as early as 40s.
Spitfire vs. Messerchmidst.


ƒ Designed for aerodynamic performance and structural


ƒ Beautiful elliptical wings chosen for aerodynamic

performance was a nightmare to mass produce

ƒ Difficult to learn to fly, highly maneuverable

ƒ Was produced in large numbers became a major force in

battle of Britain air campaign 1940-41
Spitfire vs. Messerchmidst.

ƒ Design was a DFMA classic

ƒ A minimum of compound curves used in the exterior

ƒ Rudder and horizontal stabilizers were squared off for

production efficiency

ƒ Cockpit canopy was made almost entirely of flat glass

ƒ 20 mm cannon fired through a hollow propeller shaft

to overcome complexities of wing installation and to
eliminate sighting parallax
Integrated design and manufacture

ƒ Simultaneously address design for performance and design

for production

ƒ Systems engineering has aligned design engineers in

requirements analysis, the development of functional flows

ƒ Including the aspects of manufacturing process

development in the system engineering process has been
more difficult to achieve
Design has different meanings

ƒ To some it is aesthetic design

ƒ To some it means establishing the basic parameters of a


ƒ To some it is detailing of the materials, shapes, and

tolerance of the individual parts of the product

ƒ DFMA addresses the last aspect of product designs

Essence of DFMA

Essence of
ƒ Reduction in
parts count
ƒ Ease of
What is DFMA

ƒ DFMA is an exacting design review method

ƒ It identifies:

- Optimal part design

- Material choice

- Assembly and fabrication operations to produce an

efficient and cost effective product

ƒ It reveals that initial ideas may not be the most effective

ƒ It is a structured facilitator methodology used to analyze a

design and generate ideas for improvement
What is DFMA (2)
ƒ DFMA encourages concurrent engineering during product
design so that product qualities reside with both the
designers and other members of the production team
ƒ It is a communication tool for the team
ƒ It is a bench marking tool
ƒ It defines the design and manufacturing capabilities of self
and competitor
ƒ It provides a non-threatening way to get people talking about
a design without feeling like others are encroaching on their
ƒ Einstein said “ the best design is the simplest one that works
“. DFMA provides the cheapest way to that goal

Three main approaches to design for assembly have

been developed and used viz.:

ƒ Design heuristics

ƒ Design ratings

ƒ Design revision
Design heuristics

General set of rules e.g.:

ƒ Minimize the number of parts & assembly


ƒ Avoid parts that shingle tangle etc.

ƒ Heuristics can be applied to a designer’s thinking

prior to actual product development or once an
assembly is complete

ƒ Used to simplify product

Design rating

ƒ Provide ratings for components as well as overall design

ƒ Assembly ratings can be calculated

ƒ BDI has theoretical handling and mating ratings

ƒ Other DFA rating methods provide different schemes

Design revision method

ƒ Combination of heuristics and rating method e.g. BDI

ƒ BDI combines a component rating scheme with an assembly

time and cost estimation metric as well as specific rules in an

ordered sequence for deciding how to revise a design. This

has enabled product designers in minimizing assembly

DFMA methodology

ƒ Walking through a conceptual or existing design in a very

specific procedure through out

ƒ The procedure followed and the data base system allows a

design engineer or cross functional team to analyze and

rate product designs for ease of assembly, design efficiency

as well as predict product assembly and manufacturing

DFMA methodology (2)

ƒ CAD resulted in powerful quantitative or analytical tools,

provided basis for judging a designer’s performance.

DFMA has given manufacturing engineers such a tool.

ƒ DFMA is attempting to foresee at the product conceptual

design stage , what manufacturing assembly and quality

problems will be to arrive at a better product

DFMA tools

¾ Are tools for DFM & DFA

DFM activity
DFM tools Optimize
Optimize Simplify Ensure process product
conformance function
DFM tools Concept
Design axioms
Dfm guidelines
Design for assy. Method
Taguchi method
Mfg. Process design rules
Designers toolkit
Computer aided dfm
Group technology
Value analysis

ƒ Design Axioms : Fundamental principles or axioms of

good design exist and the use of axioms to guide , evaluate
decisions lead to good designs

ƒ DFM guidelines : are systematic and codified statements of

good design practice that have been empirically derived
from years of design and manufacturing experience

ƒ DFA BDI : is based on industrial engineering time study

method, minimises cost of assembly with imposed
constraints, leads to reduction in parts count and parts are
easy to assemble
Definitions (2)
ƒ Taguchi : addresses the problem associated with Robust
design by using statistical design of experiments

ƒ Manufacturing Process driven designer: ensures that parts

and products are correctly designed to be produced using a
particular production process or method

ƒ DFM Tool Lit: facilitates correct design of products

intended to be manufactured using highly specialized or
unique advanced manufacturing facilities

ƒ Computer Aided DFM : helps simplify the effort and

shorten the time required to implement DFM on a daily
Definitions (3)
ƒ Group technology : seeks to reduce manufacturing system
information content by identifying and exploiting the
sameness or similarity of parts based on geometric shape
and or similarities in their production process

ƒ FMEA: tool intended to prevent failure and defects from

occurring and reaching the customer

ƒ Value Engineering : Analysis of functions provided by the

product and cost of each function based on analysis. Ways
sought to eliminate unnecessary functions features and to
achieve required functions at the lowest possible cost while
optimizing manufacturing , quality and delivery costs.
DFMA application areas

ƒ DFMA has been applied successfully to

• Structural design

• System design

¾Landing gear system

¾Flight controls

¾Electrical, electronic hydraulic systems

¾Environment controls
Benefits of improved assy.

Manual design assembly efficiency (%)

( DFA index )
Improved assembly design efficiency results in increased reliability
More parts decrease the chances of
manufacturing success
90 Each part 99.9% available
Probability of
parts 61
Available when 17

100 500 1000 2000

Number of parts
Quality uses the same chart. Probability of good assembly with each part 99.9 %

Rule 1. Minimize number of parts, process steps and suppliers. In manufacturing

the more parts that are created the more difficult it is for the manufacturing to
Succeed. More parts are more difficult to manage even with high availability.
In addition the probability of finding a bad part increases. Simply put more parts
– more stoppages more material management more manufacturing variability
more quality problems at assembly more suppliers more design time,more
assembly time more management
When to apply DFMA

ƒ When conceptual layouts are being made. Then designer

envisions an assembly easy to install that requires
minimum number of parts to perform the requirements
previously established

ƒ When assembly layouts are being made. Designer

implements optimization to ease of manufacturing ,
reliability and maintainability
Who are using DFMA
ƒ Over 400 companies and institutions
•Aerospace companies
•Allied signal
•Hughes Aircraft
McDonnell Douglas Corporation
Have implemented DFMA philosophy throughout
•their product line
•Automotive industries
•Medical electronic equipment
•PC – industry and others

Multidisciplinary teams

ƒ Design engineers

ƒ Manufacturing engineers

ƒ Shop floor mechanics

ƒ Suppliers reps

ƒ Specialist in product support

ƒ Maintainability

ƒ Reliability

ƒ BDI software

ƒ Is used by manufacturing team members to estimate and

predict the savings that can be obtained.

ƒ Data are entered system does its analysis in different


ƒ A complete listing of all the activities required to perform

the assembly including

ƒ It provides complete overview of the tasks to be

DFMA technique

Design concept
Design for assembly Suggestions for
( DFA ) Simplification for
Product structure
Selection of
Materials and Suggestions for
Processes and early More economic
Cost estimates Materials and
Best design concept
Detail design for
Design for manufacture Minimum manufacturing
( DFM )
Prototype Production
Procedure for analysis Manually
1. Obtain the best information about the product or assembly :
drawings, a prototype or a conceptual sketch
2. Take assembly apart. Assign an identification number to
each item starting with 1 for complete assembly
3. Refer to design for assembly worksheet . Completely fill it
4. Begin reassembling the product
5. First assemble the part with the highest identification
number to the work fixture, then add the remaining parts
one by one. Use standard manual handling and manual
insertion times. Estimate the minimum number of parts by
asking the three questions, get the answers and eliminate or
combine with parts
Procedure for analysis Manually
assembly (2)

5. Estimate the total assembly time and cost

6. Calculate the manual assembly design efficiency

7. Identify assembly features that result in high assembly cost

8. Examine and eliminate such features if possible

Part Features that affect manual
handling time

ƒ Size ƒ Necessity for

using two hands
ƒ Thickness
ƒ Necessity for
ƒ Weight using grasping
ƒ Nesting tools
ƒ Tangling ƒ Necessity for
ƒ Fragility magnification
ƒ Flexibility ƒ Necessity for
ƒ Slipperiness mechanical
ƒ Stickiness
Design features that affect manual
insertion and fastening time

ƒ accessibility of assembly location

ƒ ease of operation of assembly tool

ƒ visibility of assembly location

ƒ ease of alignment and positioning during assembly

ƒ depth of insertion
Part Number

count 3
Handling Code

Handling Time

Insertion Code

Insertion Time

Total Time

Total Cost



part count
Part Name
Name of Assembly
Design for manual assembly worksheet

Design efficiency = ( 3*NM ) / TM

DFM at work Before DFM analysis, the
1993 CAMARO / Firebird
corner assembly was to be
manufactured on what is
called non synchronous,
palletized assembly
machine. In the assembly
process , each bolt would
have been driven and the
bearing flange rotated by
separate , sequential stations.
Further complicating matters
was that one bolt was longer
than the others and required
a nut . After DFM analysis
engineers decided to build
the assembly upside down.
This permits using four
identical bolts and driving
them simultaneously which
also eliminates the nut. The
assembly also does not move
down a line. Instead parts
come to the assembly with
few transfers and little
BDI software
ƒ It does an assembly analysis profile on a standard format where it
theorizes the number of tasks to be performed, fasteners required,
connectors to be installed, candidates for elimination, acquisition
of items not in reach or in stock, requisition of tools not in hand,
standard operations, library of operations and recommendations.
ƒ All these activities are numbered and plotted. It automatically
provides suggestions for improvement.
ƒ System provides suggestions for design and indicating every task
with its time saving and its percentage reduction. It indicates
specific instructions to perform the related tasks in order to obtain
the suggested savings.
ƒ It also lists design for assembly analysis totals all parameters used
for analysis such as total assembly time, totally assembly cost, total
assembly weight, number of parts, sub assemblies theoretical
minimum numbers of parts or unanalysed sub assemblies and the
hourly labor rate.
ƒ All suggestions and comments included in the computer generated
tables are automatically provided to aid the designers and
manufacturing engineers to obtain a better view of the job
Questions asked in DFMA about each
part in a product design
ƒDoes the part move with respect to other parts already
ƒMust the part be made from a different material or isolated
from all other parts already assembled
ƒMust the part be separate from all other parts already
assembled because otherwise necessary assembly or
disassembly of other separate parts would be impossible
ƒThese questions lead the reviewers to re-evaluate each part and
process that has been specified
ƒIf a part does not meet any of these criteria – it is a candidate
for elimination or consolidation with another part
Motor Drive Assembly ( proposed )
Motor Drive Assembly ( redesigned )
DFA analysis Motor Drive Assembly
Genesis of 3 seconds assembly time
Results of Design for Assembly (DFA)
Analysis for the Motor Drive Assembly
Cost comparison
Electrical products

ƒ Unlike mechanical there are no moving parts

ƒ many of the fasteners brackets and wire terminals are

potential candidates for elimination

ƒ functions of individual electrical components can often be

combined into a single component

ƒ disassembly for service is the greatest limiting factor for

combining parts. Failed components must be removable for
repair or replacement

ƒ design for assembly. Simplify the remaining assembly

PCBs, Cables and wire harnesses

BDI software can be used to apply DFMA to PCBs and

cables and wire harness looms

Increased assembly efficiency

Increased efficiency

Rearrangement of connected items to improve

assembly efficiency and reduce costs
Wiring design for
Control unit before
Wiring design for
Control unit after
Case study

Machine control unit

ƒ Product consists of 50 wires and 100 connections

ƒ manufactured in small quantity

ƒ redesign based on DFMA approach

ƒ Mass termination technique

ƒ Elimination of lugged wire connection

ƒ Inter board connection through flat cable

ƒ Number of boards are maintained

Case Study : Analysis results

Activity Original process Redesign process

time seconds time seconds

Preparation 800.1 576.8

Assembly 1236.7 0

Installation 1350 875.6

Totals 3446.8 1452.4

Further significant improvements could be made through a

complete redesign eliminating soldered connections and
combining the PCBs
Directional preference



Failure Mode and Effects Criticality

A systematic method of identifying and investigating

potential product or process weaknesses. It is a method

for examining all ways in which a failure can occur, its

potential effects on system performance and the

seriousness of the effects.

Criticality Assessment

ƒ Two methods most often used for making a criticality

assessment are Risk Priority Number ( RPN ) method and
Military Standard Method

ƒ RPN method is commonly used in automotive industry. It

bases the RPN for an item failure mode on three factors:
Probability of occurrence, the severity of failure effects and
5the probability of failure detection

ƒ The Department of Defense in procedures for performing a

failure mode effects and criticality analysis for ranking
potential failure modes is often used in the defense ,
aerospace and nuclear power generation industries
Military Standard Method - Data Sheet
Military Standard Method - Data Sheet (2)
Military Standard Method - Data Sheet (3)
Typical functional flow

Power supply Laser Tx. Design FMEA

Charge storage Receive pulse Discharge capacitor
Capacitor Initiate signal Through laser diode 1

Transmit pulse Create laser Create laser
Through lens Pulse shape Pulse energy.

Insufficient charge, one failure mode is low charge

voltage, paste consistency registration of pads
Typical process flow
P 1.1
Produce active Solder bridging of micro processor
Printing of solder paste, effect
P 1.2 total system failure, larger pitch
Produce active not available
P 1.6
P 1.3 AND P 1.7
Produce passive Assemble into
AND Produce lower
Receiver Upper housing
Housing assembly
P 1.4
Produce flex.

P 1.5 See next slide

Produce PCB
Typical process flow (contd.)

P 1.3.4
P 1.3.1 P 1.3.2 P 1.3.3 Pick and place
Coder Clean bond Wire bond Pbse
Attach Pads Coder INTERCONNECT

P 1.3.2
Clean bond pads

P 1.3.5
P 1.3.6
Wire bond
Activities to achieve manufacturing

ƒ Identify key system characteristics and critical manufacturing


ƒ Determine process is in control and capable

ƒ Conduct FMEA

ƒ Set reliability growth plan and goals

ƒ Conduct reliability growth testing

ƒ Conduct review to begin production

Activities to achieve stable design

ƒ Limit design challenge

ƒ Demonstrate design meets requirements

ƒ Complete critical design reviews

ƒ Stake holders agree drawings complete and producible

ƒ Review to begin initial manufacturing

Process capability index & probability of a
defective part


Cpk .67 ( NOT CAPABLE) 1 In 22 parts produced

Cpk 1.0 ( marginally capable ) 1 in 370 parts produced

Cpk 1.33 ( industry std.) 1 in 15152 parts produced

Cpk 2.0 ( industry growth 1 in 500,000,000 parts produced

Process Capability Index
Two common process capability indices Cp and Cpk
Cp =

U= Upper Control Limit
L = Lower Control Limit
σ = standard deviation
Cpk = | µ −L x |

µ = mean value of population
Lx = nearest control limit
σ = standard deviation of population
Cp and Cpk less than 1.33 process not capable between 1.33
and 2.5 process capable greater than 2.5 unnecessary precision
may be expensive
Cpk is much more valuable tool than Cp. It can be applied
accurately to both skewed and normal distribution
Examples of prototypes used

Product product production

Integration demonstration
Engg. Protos. Production
Prototype Virtual or Representative Initial products
Physical Prototypes

Demonstrate Demonstrate Demonstrate

Form fit Product is
Purpose Capable reliable Ready for full
Function and Scale production
And mfg. Processes
A stable design In control

Build Mfg. First set of Production all

Environment Engineering Production tooling Rate tooling
Best approach to product development

Technology Production
development Integration & demonstration




Creative thinking

ƒ Creative thinking – the touch stone of DFMA

ƒ Innovative design does not come from a complicated

algorithm but from the creativity of men and women

ƒ DFMA fosters creativity


ƒ The need for DFMA during early stages of product

development is seen

ƒ TWO METHODS viz. BDI and FMECA approaches

appear to be yielding excellent results.

ƒ A combination of the two is likely to serve our purpose

both in mechanical and electronic products

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