This article discusses it has become a basic assumption that prices do not rise but instead they should fall in the economics of electronic products. It was precisely to meet customers’ expectations of lower prices that a Canadian manufacturer went to an essentially mechanical redesign of a telecommunications device. Nortel’s work on the redesign followed the principles of a system called DFMA, or design for manufacture and assembly, a design analysis tool developed by Boothroyd Dewhurst Inc., Wakefield, RI. It enables product designers to pinpoint parts and assemblies that add unnecessary costs to a product, and then design to avoid them. DFMA is designed to give engineers a structured way to evaluate ease of assembly and the overall manufacturability of a product. Design for assembly requires the user to assess whether each part is necessary, and to consider the time and cost of assembling the product. Design for manufacture integrates information about manufacturing processes, allowing users to estimate manufacturing costs and make informed decisions about materials.

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