A framework relating producibility problems to the use of manufacturing information in design
This thesis presents the development of a framework for relating the reasons for problems of producibility that occur in manufacturing to the sources of information available to designers. Advice and guidance on Design for Manufacture was obtained from textbooks, journal articles and conference papers that sought to improve the process or report on design-related difficulties in manufacturing. Industrial experience was gained from a two-year project in defence aerospace, researching concurrent engineering in the extended enterprise. Examples of good practice across a range of industries were gained from interviews with practitioners, with advice both from customers engaged in design and from manufacturing suppliers. Further industrial experience was provided by two studies of civil aerospace, covering in-house and outsourced manufacture. Potential problems were classified and then related to the sources of knowledge available to prevent these problems reaching the shop floor. The detailed analysis of findings is presented and provides a structured approach that could assist in planning concurrent engineering processes, especially communications and teamworking. This would enable potential producibility problems to be addressed in a comprehensive manner so as to minimise the costs, effort and delay associated with them. It would also encourage opportunities for improvement to be promoted at the earliest stage in product development, where they are the most effective.