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Analysis of Design for X Methodologies for Complex Assembly Processes: A Literature Review

[+] Author Affiliations
Usue Aliende Urrutia, Philip Webb

Cranfield University, Cranfield, Bedfordshire, UK

Mark Summers

Airbus Operations Ltd, Bristol, UK

Paper No. DETC2014-34955, pp. V004T06A009; 11 pages
  • ASME 2014 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 4: 19th Design for Manufacturing and the Life Cycle Conference; 8th International Conference on Micro- and Nanosystems
  • Buffalo, New York, USA, August 17–20, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4635-3
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


Historically, products have been developed following the “we design it, you build it” approach. Design and production belonged to two independent entities, with no feedback from downstream activities to upstream activities. In order to avoid redesign costs caused by the lack of feedback, pioneer organisations began to apply methodologies such as ‘Design for Assembly’ or ‘Design for Manufacture’ on a daily basis.

Over the years, further research has been carried out to refine these generic methodologies adding previously unconsidered perspectives, such as quality, reliability, environmental, etc. which evolved into a concept called ‘Design-for-X’ (DfX). However, existing methodologies have largely focused on simply reducing product’s structural costs, without taking into consideration other important aspects of more complex assembly processes common in the aerospace industry.

The complex assembly process that this paper focuses on is the systems’ installation process within the aerospace business. The installation of fuel, electrical and other systems must follow strict aerospace regulations, intra-organisational design rules, safety policies and many more restrictions, which are not considered as key factors in current methodologies.

In this paper, we endeavour to provide an extensive analysis of existing DfX methodologies and support our conclusion that there is an opportunity to develop a new methodology which will ease the aerospace systems’ installation process for the shop-floor operator.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME
Topics: Manufacturing , Design



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