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DFX Considerations: Designing for Efficient Assembly

The way components are configured and oriented can have a major impact on the time, cost, and complexity of the manufacturing process.

One of the key DFX priorities that should be baked into any new product design is optimizing for efficient assembly.

A core principle of design for assembly is ensuring single-axis build progression. This means that the assemblers do not have to reorient the product as it is being built - all the components can be added while the item is in a fixed orientation. This not only streamlines the assembly workflow, but also reduces the risk of mistakes or damage during the handling process.

Beyond orientation, another important consideration is the use of common components and parts across the design. Reducing the total number of unique elements that need to be acquired, stocked, and assembled can deliver significant cost and efficiency gains. Even small things like using the same hardware (screws, nuts, etc.) in multiple locations can add up to meaningful savings.

Read more below.

The focus and discipline of DFX is a powerful tool if used as part of a broader strategic approach to developing product/process differentiation, and a sustainable advantage against competition. Involve Design for X in Strategy. Once your team has determined the focus of your strategy, place the focus of design on developing competitive advantage. 

At Boston Engineering, DFX is a core part of creating values during our product development process. We focus on several key DFX areas that align with our expertise:

Learn more about Design for X (DFX) at Boston engineering: Boston Engineering Design for X


Defining Cost and Volume Targets for Your Product Design

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The location and accessibility of assembly points is another key factor. Designers should carefully consider the assemblers' physical access to attachment points and ensure there is sufficient clearance for tools. Cramped or difficult-to-reach areas can dramatically slow down the build process.

It's also worth examining the potential for leveraging automated assembly techniques, especially for high-volume products. In these cases, the design should incorporate features that facilitate robot handling, such as symmetrical part geometries that can be easily identified and oriented.

Ultimately, an assembly-focused design approach optimizes for simplicity, consistency, and accessibility. By minimizing handling, reorientation, and specialized components, you can streamline the manufacturing workflow and achieve significant cost savings. It's a DFX essential that should be central to every new product development initiative.

Interested in providing your product development team with DFX skills? Learn More about our Applied DFX process and development workshops.

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Learn more about Additive Manufacturing in the Design for X Space in this excerpt from 
the Boston Engineering 2024 Technology Outlook. Written by Frank Silveira, Boston Engineering's Vice President of Engineering, this piece explores areas of continued growth in Additive Manufacturing to support Design for Assembly (DFA) and Design for Serviceability and Maintainability (Among Others). Read Now Silveira-1



 Understanding the Importance of a DFX approach

Applying Design for X (DFX) methodologies upfront in product development optimizes the entire lifecycle by improving manufacturability, testability, reliability, usability, and other critical characteristics. This avoids costly redesigns later on, facilitates high-quality products that satisfy customers, reduces manufacturing and service costs, and supports flexibility through modularity and platforms. The holistic perspective of DFX drives efficient, cost-effective delivery of successful products that provide competitive advantage. Investing in DFX early pays dividends across the entire product lifespan.

Do you offer training on DFX for engineering teams?

Education is critical to effectively implement DFX principles. We provide training tailored to your engineers’ roles and product lines. This includes overall DFX methodology, deep dives into specific disciplines like design for reliability or manufacturability, and practical application workshops. Our hands-on approach combines real-world examples and case studies with tutorials on leading DFX software tools. The goal is building organizational DFX expertise and establishing repeatable processes that endure beyond individual projects. Investing in DFX knowledge pays dividends across your entire product portfolio. 

DFX Workshop request

Ready to Begin your next DFX Project? 

commercialization12Whether you’ve created a new technology, or have an innovative way to use an existing solution, Boston Engineering will turn your ideas into reality.  Our experts and Industry Partners will enhance your current team or manage the entire Product Development Process from Market Analysis to Production. Don't leave complex projects or high visibility product launches to chance. Know you're going to get the results you want by working with industry leaders in design, development, and deployment of innovative products driven by Novel Engineering. Contact Boston Engineering Today to get started.

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No matter the challenge, our team possesses the expertise in the engineering disciplines and technologies you need to bring your vision to life. Impossible Challenge? Try Us.

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Impossible Challenge? Try Us. 

Selecting a partner to help you complete your design project is a valuable option to reduce project duration and save money.    

The Boston Engineering product development system encompasses DFX to ensure a smooth product launch and success in the marketplace.  Boston Engineering has DFX knowledge and experience to address aspects and values of a product such as manufacturability, test, reliability, safety, serviceability, cost, and compliance with industry standards and government regulations.



 Product Development Process

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