Expediting and Optimizing Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DFMA) in Automotive
The Complexities of Design for Manufacturing
As automakers go electric, more lithium batteries are needed to power their electric vehicles. A lithium battery is actually a battery pack, comprised of:
- multiple batteries with
- multiple cells
- a battery management system to control and monitor its performance
Each of these components require multiple raw materials and manufactured parts. In the case of electric vehicles, manufacturers must customize these components to meet the specifications of the automaker for a specific make and model. Specifications typically include:
- dimensions (length, width, height)
- voltage and power capacity
- quantity, expected delivery date, and price range
Therefore, designing a lithium battery is as much a supply chain, manufacturing, and assembly forecasting exercise as it is a mechanical engineering one.
Managing Complexity through Decision Management
The product engineering field has developed different methodologies to incorporate cost and time-to-market into the design, including:
- Design for Manufacturing (DFM)
- Design for Assembly (DFA)
- Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DFMA)
However, executing these methodologies is time-consuming and often sub-optimal. One of our clients, a leading custom battery manufacturer, turned to our SMARTS Data-Powered Decision Manager to expedite and optimize the design process. Through business rules and lookup models, our client is able to:
- define the relationship between the materials, suppliers, and manufacturing processes (ex. forging, bending) of a particular cell model
- coordinate the relationship between cells, batteries, and battery packs (ex. physical dimensions, voltage, power capacity)
- quickly produce a design decision (includes cell model and quantity, battery pack layout, price quote) based on an automaker’s requirements
As a result, the battery manufacturer is not only delivering a better customer experience but also minimizing internal costs.
In addition, SMARTS intuitive user interface makes it easy for business analysts to organize and manage the business rules underlying their design decision. This allows the battery manufacturer to adapt quickly to market changes. Whether certain suppliers undergo price changes or no longer supply a certain material, business analysts can easily adjust business rules accordingly.
Want to learn how SMARTS can help your organization make smarter, faster operational decisions? Contact us today to request a custom demo.