09 Nov 5 Assembly considerations for product design
Great designs are the first step towards production excellence. However, one vital component of the manufacturing process of these designs is to consider assembly and how this part of the process can be successfully executed.
Whether you handle the assembly process or if it is done externally, having fool-proof plans in place will ensure you get the results you need. Here are 5 important assembly considerations that industrial designers should consider for product design.
How many parts are needed?
As a designer, you need your end product to be as sturdy as possible and not to have parts come loose following assembly. However, an important consideration for assembly is how many parts you need for final assembly.
Often, taking a closer look can reveal how you can actually reduce the number of parts – something as simple as reducing the numbers of screws or fasteners! This will also save material costs while still ensuring a high-quality product.
Can you substitute certain parts?
Have you considered how material use can be relooked and improved on for assembly? Plastic injection moulding is a great example where you can get high efficiency as well as a faster production. Great for complex designs, flexible and with less waste, this can ease the assembly process and make it more straightforward.
How will tools be impacted by your design?
Especially in cases where you are not handling assembly yourself, you need to consider the tools a technician will need and use during the assembly of your products. If you can create a better outcome by making changes to certain parts of your design where fewer tools can be used, it will ensure a smoother assembly process.
What does the assembly environment look like?
Although a big part of a designer’s design focus will be on the end-results they want to achieve, ensuring the comfort of technicians working on the assembly line is vital to ensure success. This includes safety as well as ergonomics. Each step for assembly needs to be considered, including if any safety equipment would be required and if any unnecessary steps could be avoided.
Could your product be disassembled if needed?
Although no designer wants to pick their design apart soon after it goes to market or shortly after it has been sold, it could happen that a client might receive a faulty product and return it for repairs. Following an assembly process that can be effectively reversed doesn’t mean creating a flimsy product: it boils down to making fixtures that will be easy to loosen for inspection and to make fixes. Think less rigid design that still allows for great designs!
Always consider every aspect from design to assembly
Ultimately, assembly considerations are as important for an industrial designer’s overall product strategy as the first designs made. By considering the complete journey from inception to completion, designers can ensure excellent results, every time.
At Moss&Schmidt, we are dedicated to creating exceptional designs. Contact us today if you would like to find out more about our design processes.