Automating Design for Manufacturability Feedback
By taking a holistic approach to all of the manufacturing costs, tolerances, and manufacturing variables encountered during the early prototype runs, data is captured and communicated in order to allow designers to eliminate potential costs before volume manufacturing needs to begin.
In the prototype production environment, contract manufacturers need to be more flexible and responsive than ever. Product design engineers and manufacturing engineers must engage simultaneously, sometimes both internally and externally, testing a variety of configurations over a short time period in order to eliminate waste in product development timelines. Speed, after all, can make all the difference between a blockbuster new product and an also-ran in markets both highly regulated and highly competitive.
Integrating the Shop Floor to Support Design for Manufacturability: A Case Study
He designed each four-machine cell in a thirty-two foot square, with three different models of Citizen Swiss screw machines in each cell. By leveraging three different technology platforms, components can be routed to the most cost-effective machine based on the geometry, size, and complexity of the part. Four separate work surfaces ensure proper line clearance and product segregation, but are strategically located close together in order to share non product-specific tooling and inspection equipment, and to reduce the need for redundant operators.
By integrating data collection into the lean-inspired Swiss cell, manufacturability and quality inputs from operators are collected via device history logs, barcodes, and digital inspection equipment. After final inspection, this data is analyzed by the engineering department to determine positive or negative manufacturing variances, and select portions of this information are published via the “stat pack” that is shipped to customers.
Integrating detailed manufacturing feedback in the documentation at RevZero has already started to reduce cost, and portions of these savings can be passed on to end customers proactively. By simply standardizing the design for manufacturability feedback mechanism, real cost savings can be realized by eliminating guesswork on both sides before the critically important stage of design transfer to manufacturing begins.
For additional information on the technologies and products discussed in this article, see MDT online at www.mdtmag.com or RevZero Inc. at www.revzeroinc.com.