Friday, 2 June 2006

Automatic Assembly (5/16)

For manual assembly; the process, access, movement, resistance, and alignment of the parts are considered. Time penalties are given to those parts which have difficulties in excess of handling and assembling a standard part. A design efficiency can be calculated for the existing design. The task of the design team is to increase this efficiency and reduce the factory cost. The efficiency can be increased by similar methods to be described for automatic assembly.

Product design for automatic assembly can be implemented at any stage in the manufacturing process. It is best, however, to design for automatic assembly before the product goes into production. The problems associated with re-design, once the product has gone into production are many. Firstly, the cost of design changes, in terms of re-tooling, may outweigh the savings gained by greater productivity. Secondly, an unacceptable lead time may exist from company approval and customer approval to getting the re-designed product into production. Also, once a product has been re­designed for automatic assembly, good productivity gains can often be realized by incorporating the new product into an existing manual assembly line, without investment in an automatic assembly system. This highlights the fact that a product re-designed for automatic assembly always provides savings in manual assembly, when compared with an existing design.

The object of a design for automatic assembly investigation is to increase the design efficiency of the product.

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