An Approach for Improving Design of System Variants


In the past decades, firms have increased automated assembly operation to improve productivity and reduce human errors; however, manual assembling is still a necessary operation for complex and large-scaled systems that require high reliability. Furthermore, since customers demand more variety in systems, firms increasingly assemble variants of a system in a single assembly line. In this mixed model assembling operation, there are higher chances of assembly errors due to interchanging of geometrically similar parts between system variants. Design for Assembly (DFA) is a design guideline that assists engineers to design systems that are easier to assemble; however, DFA does not provide any guideline for simultaneously designing variants of system being assembled in mixed model operation. Furthermore, incentive schemes for assembly operators that may influence both assembly productivity and errors have not been the scope of DFA research. In this research, the authors conducted assembling experiments with students to investigate how non-geometric part information and incentive schemes affect the assembly productivity and quality in mixed model assembling operation.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Assembly Quality; Design for Assembly; Manual Assembling; Mixed Model Manual Assembling

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2006 American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2006

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