232 Assembly sequence diagrams

Usually, the assembly sequence of the components that make up the product is examined late in the design process when manufacturing engineers are trying to

Figure 2.16 Assembly sequence diagram fora castor wheel

balance the assembly line. In turn, the choice of assembly sequence and the identification of potential subassemblies can affect or be affected by product testing options, market responsiveness and factory floor layout (Baldwin et al., 1991), as well as engineering issues such as ease of servicing or ease of recycling. However, there are extensive implications for the successful generation of assembly sequences during the early stages of the design process. Cycle times can be reduced and rework is decreased (Barnes et al., 1997).

Through an assembly sequence diagram for each component in the product, the assembly variability risks highlighted by an analysis are logically mapped. An assembly sequence declaration compels the designer to focus on each stage in the assembly and therefore makes the task of identification of potential problems much easier. Only CSC's DFA/MA method uses an explicit assembly sequencing method to augment the DFA process and the approach employed here is developed, with slight modifications, from this. Figure 2.16 shows an assembly sequence diagram for a simple castor wheel assembly. The development of assembly sequence diagrams for more complex assemblies does become a prohibitive task, but its generation should be one of the standard engineering design tasks.

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