In April, electronics assembler Mack Technologies completed work on a substantial installation of money-saving technology at its factory in Westford, MA. The company didn’t get a new paste printer, reflow oven or pick-and-place machine. In fact, the plant’s slick new technology had nothing to do with assembly.
Compliant mechanisms are jointless, elastic structures that reduce costs and simplify product designs. These single-piece flexible structures elastically deform without joints to produce a desired functionality.
Design for manufacture and assembly (DFMA) does well as a stand-alone methodology for simplifying product designs and lowering production costs. However, DFMA should also be hailed as a pathway to lean manufacturing.