BENSENVILLE, IL-At least 85 percent of manufacturing costs are determined in the early stages of design. When engineers make informed design decisions during the concept stage, they avoid costly corrections later on.

So, how can engineers lower manufacturing costs through design? What features make a product easy and cost-efficient to assemble? How can parts be designed to facilitate automation? Get answers to these questions and more at ASSEMBLY magazine’s next webcast, “Design for Manufacturing and Assembly: What, Why and How?”
This free, 45-minute webcast will be broadcast live on Thursday, Aug. 2, at 1 p.m. Eastern time. The featured speaker is Kazuhiro Saitou, Ph.D., associate professor of mechanical engineering, and director of the design laboratory at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Viewers will learn the benefits and pitfalls of design for manufacturing and assembly, and they’ll learn valuable tips for considering manufacturing issues during product design.
The session will include a formal presentation and a question-and-answer period during which viewers can have their typed questions answered live. Engineers who miss the live broadcast can view an archived version on ASSEMBLY’s web site.
The webcast is the second of four that ASSEMBLY magazine will broadcast this year as part of its Online University series. The third webcast, which will air Oct. 3, will cover robotics and flexible automation. The fourth, which will air Dec. 5, will cover adhesive bonding and dispensing. Some 566 engineers and managers registered for ASSEMBLY’s first webcast this year, which aired May 2 and discussed lean manufacturing. Approximately half the registrants saw the event live, while the other half tuned into the archived version.
Saitou earned his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA) in 1996, and he has been teaching at Michigan almost ever since. His research interests include computer modeling and optimal synthesis of mechanical products and systems; computational design for manufacture, assembly and environment; simultaneous design of products, manufacturing systems and supply chains; and computer modeling and synthesis of microelectromechanical systems.
Saitou is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, the Association for Computing Machinery, and Sigma Xi. He is associate editor for the IEEE’s Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering, and he’s an editorial board member of the International Journal of CAD/CAM. He is also secretary of the ASME’s Design for Manufacturing Technical Committee, and a member of the executive committee for the ASME’s Design Automation Conference. In 1999, he received the CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation, an award that recognizes young professors who effectively integrate research and education within their organizations.

For additional information on ASSEMBLY magazine’s 2007 Online University series, visit