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Design For Manufacture And Assembly: A Survey Of Desired Competencies

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Design for Manufacture and Industry

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.404.1 - 11.404.12

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Paper Authors


Rudolph Eggert Boise State University

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RUDY J. EGGERT is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Boise State University. His research interests include Engineering Design, Optimization, Design Theory and Methodology, Machine Design, and Probabilistic Analysis. In addition to a number of conference papers and journal articles he recently wrote Engineering Design, published by Prentice Hall in 2004.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Design for Manufacture and Assembly: A Survey of Desired Student Competencies


Research conducted in 2003 identified major gaps in the supply and demand for engineering design education including design for manufacturing (DFM) and design for assembly (DFA). This paper presents the results of a subsequent research effort conducted during the fall of 2005 to identify specific competencies desired by industry and academia. In addition, a variety of learning experiences desired by industry were compared to those actually provided by academia. While industry and academia largely agree upon DFM, manufacturing processes and materials competencies, the data suggest that industry would like more emphasis on the following DFA competencies: a) identifying part features or characteristics that affect part insertion and fastening, b) identifying part features or characteristics that affect part handling and c) using solid modeling software to verify that mating parts will assemble. The data also suggest that industry desires more emphasis on the following “class-room” learning experiences: a) complete a design project using DFMA guidelines/checklists and b) make a part using rapid prototyping; and “non class-room” learning experiences: a) visit local industry, b) do a summer internship in industry, c) complete a term in industry (co-op ed.). Lastly, the data show that most engineers do not learn their DFMA methods and concepts in their undergraduate program. Rather, they learn them via “on-site” training.


Many engineers work in jobs, directly or indirectly, related to manufacturing. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 1,449,000 engineers were employed in 2004 [1]. Of those, approximately 38 percent worked directly in manufacturing, 27 percent worked in technical services (including scientific research and development services), 13 percent in government, three percent self-employed and about 19 percent were classified as others. Manufacturing establishments include: aerospace, apparel and other textile products, chemicals manufacturing (except drugs), drug manufacturing, electronic equipment manufacturing, food processing, motor vehicle and equipment manufacturing, printing and publishing, steel manufacturing, and textile mill products. Technical services which account for approximately one out of four engineering jobs, refer to companies such as Architect and Engineering companies that often design and construct local, state, federal commercial and industrial facilities. Since engineering design is an essential activity in the product realization process [2], whether one designs products, processes or systems, graduating engineers should be reasonably competent in fundamental design methods and knowledge. A survey of industry was carried out in 2003 to better understand which specific topics and activities that industry desires [3]. In

Eggert, R. (2006, June), Design For Manufacture And Assembly: A Survey Of Desired Competencies Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois.

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