Nuts to Screws
One u.s. champion of DFM is Geoffrey Brotherhood, a professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering at the University of Rhode Island and the co-founder of Brotherhood Hurst Inc. This tiny Wake-field (R.I.) company has developed several computer programs that analyze designs for ease of manufacturing. The biggest gains, notes Brotherhood, come from eliminating screws and other fasteners. On a supplier’s invoice, screws and bolts may run mere pennies apiece, and collectively they account for only about 5 percent of a typical product’s bill of materials. But tack on all of the associated costs, such as the time needed to align components while screws are inserted and tightened, and the price of using those mundane parts can pile up to 75 percent of total assembly costs. “Fasteners should be the first thing to design out of a product he says.but late But NCR got its simplified terminal to market in record time without overlooking the little details. The product was formally introduced last January, just 24 months after development began. Design as a paperless. interdepartmental effort from the very start. The product remained a computer model until all members of the team-from design engineering. manufacturing. purchasing, customer service, and key suppliers-were satisfied. That way the printed-circuit boards. the molds for its plastic housing, and other elements could all be developed simultaneously This eliminated the usual lag after designers throw a new product or the wall to manufacturing which then must figure out how to
make it Breaking Dow n the walls between design and manufacturing to facilitate stimulusneous engineering Prague declares was the real breakthrough.