Design for manufacture: a methodology to evaluate an aircraft design in order to ensure its manufacturability

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Needham, Paul M.
  • Subject: T1 | TS | TL

The aim of the research is to develop a methodological analysis of problems in the\ud area of design for manufacture in low volume high complex products found in the\ud writer’s workplace. The majority of research in this area has been around high\ud volume products, such as automotive products and little consideration has been given\ud to designing complex products from industries like aircraft manufacture.\ud This research evaluates design for manufacture (DFM) information in the design lifecycle\ud (DLC). The author’s research introduces a unique DLC process, one which\ud structures decisions and data transfer through the DLC. The research also looks at\ud current academic work and introduces industrial issues present in today’s\ud environment.\ud It is crucial to the design of a product to select the appropriate design environment in\ud which it operates, as it will structure the way the engineering activities are established\ud and developed. It is also important for the organisation to decide on the environment\ud in which the design definition should evolve. Therefore the research reviews the\ud different design definition environments, these were carefully analysed by the author.\ud The evaluation of a design to ensure its manufacturability is a major element in the\ud research, a review of previous work has highlighted that within current publications\ud there has been little work in this area. The research has developed a methodology to\ud evaluate the robustness of a design. It not only looks at the engineering design but\ud also evaluates its adherence to customer requirements and the effect on cost for the\ud overall product life-cycle. It also considers industrial needs for a reduction in the\ud length of design life-cycle, while ensuring a reduction in manufacturing costs. There\ud are two main contributors to this, firstly the use of key characteristics and secondly,\ud the ability to control the manufacturability of a design. The author has developed a\ud novel software tool enabling efficient evaluation of a design.\ud The author discusses his contribution to existing knowledge in three main areas of the\ud research. The most significant being the introduction of a tool to evaluate a design\ud early in the design life-cycle to ensure manufacturability. To validate the research the\ud author introduces the reader to three experimental phases. He validates his\ud methodology by analysing the design of various aircraft assemblies discussing his\ud findings of how manufacturable the designs are. This leads to the conclusion that the\ud author’s research adds substantial knowledge to the area of design for manufacture.
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