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Journal cover: Assembly Automation

Assembly Automation

ISSN: 0144-5154

Online from: 1980

Subject Area: Mechanical & Materials Engineering

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The role of key characteristics in the design of mechanical assemblies

Document Information:
Title:The role of key characteristics in the design of mechanical assemblies
Author(s):Daniel E. Whitney, (MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA)
Citation:Daniel E. Whitney, (2006) "The role of key characteristics in the design of mechanical assemblies", Assembly Automation, Vol. 26 Iss: 4, pp.315 - 322
Keywords:Automotive industry, Control, Design for assembly, Production methods
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/01445150610705236 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – Products are complex and are comprised of many parts from many sources, designed at different times by different people and companies. The same holds true for the tooling and fixtures used to make and assemble them. There is little research and practice on how to design assemblies that deal with such problems. The purpose of this paper is to describe a technique aimed at this goal.

Design/methodology/approach – The technique is built up from a number of concepts. The paper defines the intent of the design, identifies key assembly-level dimensions called key characteristics (KCs) that embody the intent, designs an architecture for the assembly that will deliver each key dimension within some stated tolerance, and conveys the intent and architecture in the form of a diagram called a datum flow chain (DFC).

Findings – The design and achievement of KCs is a joint responsibility of engineering and manufacturing.

Originality/value – The DFC method provides people with a vocabulary and a simple diagramming technique by which they can document the design intent, debate the merits of different designs, and anticipate where assembly problems will occur.

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