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Ease of product assembly through a time-based design methodology

Anoop Desai (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia, USA)

Assembly Automation

ISSN: 0144-5154

Article publication date: 26 September 2019

Issue publication date: 18 October 2019




This paper aims to present a design methodology to enable product design for ease of assembly. It is corroborated by means of a case study. The methodology is based on standard time data. This enables quick computation of assembly time as well as comparing different design options for ease of assembly.


Component design that is easy to assemble is likely to take less time and vice versa. Assembly time is a function of product design attributes such as geometric shape, weight, center of gravity, type of material, number of fasteners and types of fasteners. The methodology uses standard data to achieve its objective. Numeric scores are developed for each design feature based on the aforementioned design attributes. This enables not only computation of assembly time for a brand new product but also comparison of two or more alternative design configurations from the point of view of ease of assembly.


The value of the system is corroborated by means of case studies of actual product designs. It is demonstrated that changing any of the underlying design attributes (such as type of fastener used, number of fasteners used, material of the component and component shape) is likely to result in changing the amount of time taken to assemble the product. The scoring system facilitates the quick computation of assembly time


The amount of time to assemble a product before the product is ever designed is facilitated by this system. Assembly time is a direct function of product design attributes. Process time is calculated using standard data, specifically, the Methods Time Measurement (MTM) system. This is accomplished by converting design features into time measurement units (TMUs). Assembly cost can then be easily computed by using assembly time as the basis. The computation of assembly time and cost is important inasmuch as its role in influencing productivity. This is of obvious value not only to the designer but the company as a whole.



Desai, A. (2019), "Ease of product assembly through a time-based design methodology", Assembly Automation, Vol. 39 No. 5, pp. 881-903.



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