Monday, 5 June 2006

Automatic Assembly (2/16)

Certain design features must be incorporated, for ease of orientation and feeding, and assembly processes must be kept simple and efficient. I describe, on the following 14 posts, how to design a product for automatic assembly and achieve the required production rate, with minimum rectification work of defective products.

A big part of a product's factory cost is dictated by the product designer. Established design goals, such as minimum material usage and the use of standard components, have always been given top priority by the designer to obtain low direct material costs. Manufacturability has played an important part when considering parts forming techniques and, to a lesser extent, assembly techniques.  It is now time to change the emphasis from "how parts are to be made" to "how they are to be put together".

Historically, industry's direct labour costs in the developed nations have been acceptably low in the manufacture of medium to high volume, low technology products. This situation has changed over the last decade .  Globalisation exposes the significant difference in labour costs between developed and developing nations.

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