Design for Assembly (DFA) is the process by which a product is designed to be easily assembled. Such design simplifications are accomplished through reducing the number of operations required to assemble the product, improving the handling of each component, and/or modifying the required operations (insertion, joining, etc.). There exist several techniques for assessing the assemblability of a design through an analysis of these three aspects. However, there also exists a clearly defined need for evolving such techniques to indicate how a product should be redesigned with respect to customer needs and associated functionality. This paper presents three such evolutions, aimed at reducing the number of components in an assembly during redesign. The first technique is a component elimination procedure, the second technique is a component combination analysis, and the third technique establishes a logical approach for revealing more abstract component elimination or combination opportunities. These three DFA techniques are integrated within a reverse engineering and redesign methodology. They are then applied to a industrial design application, i.e., redesign of an auxiliary automobile visor. Results demonstrate definitive part count reduction, while maintaining and improving design functionality.

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