WAKEFIELD, R.I.— Dr. Alfredo Herrera of The Boeing Company received the “Distinguished DFMA Supporter of the Year Award” at the 2014 International Forum on Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DFMA) held in Providence, RI, June 4-5. Herrera received the award for his role in educating the larger engineering community—not only about DFMA, but about integrating the program into corporate-wide Lean and Value Engineering (VE) efforts.
At a previous DFMA Forum, Herrera presented a paper (also published in Aerospace Manufacturing and Design) on the AH-64D Apache Helicopter. The article outlined the customer demands Boeing Mesa engineers were able to meet by using Model-Based Definition (MBD), DFMA best practices, Dimensional Management and Advanced Technology Assemblies (ATA) analysis, among other collective approaches.
Dr. Herrera works at Boeing Mesa as Lean+ Engineering Project Manager and often cites the top-down commitment of the organization to Lean, value-focused thinking.
Lean has been a widely accepted and effectively utilized worldwide technique for decades. As Keynote speaker and author Richard Schonberger pointed out during his Forum speech, there are three dominant elements of the Lean Value Chain and DFMA is most certainly one of them.
“De-proliferation of parts is the most effective path to Lean. Reducing complexity—in the number of parts, number of models, of suppliers, or even customers—leads to a reduction in lead times, an increase in flexibility, and an overall greater value for a lower cost,” said Schonberger. “DFMA identifies where these reductions can be made, and it is up to its users to advocate for the program’s implementation throughout the supply chain.”
Other Forum highlights included a VE and DFMA workshop led by James D. Bolton of Whirlpool and SAVE International—a global society advocating for the practice of function-based, value-enhancing methodology—and papers presented by a variety of industry representatives, including Dynisco, Jabil Circuit and Acorn Product Development.
“James Bolton’s workshop focused on linking DFMA with function analysis and FAST diagrams, which are designed to promote effective communication amongst multi-discipline professionals to solve problems; in essence, simplifying the conversations organizations need to engage in in order to efficiently address manufacture and assembly concerns,” said John Gilligan, President of Boothroyd Dewhurst, Inc. “This not only complemented this year’s theme of Simplification, but allowed participants a hands-on opportunity to see how this technique can improve their organizations.”
DFMA software guides engineers to assess the structural efficiency of their products and then reduce assembly cost by consolidating individual parts into elegant, multifunctional designs. Product development teams can examine competing materials and processes and quantitatively judge the cost trade-offs of producing new designs or improving existing products.
For more information about the 2014 DFMA Forum go to: http://www.dfma.com/forum/index.html.