Design for Manufacture Assembly (DfMA)
Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) is an approach to design that focuses on ease of manufacture and efficiency of assembly. It is a well-established approach in many sectors that is driven by the need to produce large numbers of consistently high-quality products very efficiently. In the construction sector, the ‘repeatability’ of end products may seem to be less than that of other sectors, at least at first glance. In this context, the application of DfMA might be seen as more challenging. The traditional approach to construction is centred around the delivery of large quantities of raw materials to the construction site, where large numbers of workers bring them together, often in challenging working conditions. At Lloyd Morris Electrical, we are challenging this accepted view and have successfully developed an approach to design for manufacture and assembly.
Arguably, the most important benefit of DfMA is reducing the health and safety risks associated with site construction. By removing construction activities from the site and placing them in a controlled factory environment there is a significant positive impact on safety. We ensure that transportation of DfMA to site is cost-efficient and has the lowest carbon footprint possible. Once on-site, products are often taken straight off the trailer and installed immediately, reducing the need for large lay-down areas. LME provide specialist handling equipment if necessary. On average the ‘Traditional 6 Step’ delivery approach can include 420 working hours on site The DfMA Solution reduces this to just 48 working hours on site. These hours are mainly logistical; Driver, Crane Operator, Banksmen and Supervision with low-risk work being carried out by highly trained professionals.
DfMA significantly reduces the construction programme onsite. The six construction activities consisting of the following: Steel base Plinth, Flooring, GRP Kiosk, Motor Control Centre, Kiosk Services and LV Installation built into one DfMA Solution. The Civil foundation can be simplified to a flat slab, outer wall with backfill gravel or bathtub. Traditionally, each of these activities are individually itemised on construction programme and delivered through a separate subcontract order by different companies. On average, the traditional six step approach can take up to three weeks to complete. The work is all carried out onsite with day-to-day supervision and co-ordination by the Alliance Delivery Partner. The DfMA Solution reduces this to just one single day which is supervised and coordinated by Lloyd Morris Electrical.
By taking much of the construction activity off-site and into the controlled factory environment such as our ISO Certified Manufacturing Facility, we can achieve consistently high standards. The highly automated approach in manufacturing the DfMA Solution enhances quality and efficiency at every stage – both in the products themselves, which are repeatedly honed to support optimum performance, and in the production process. This optimisation process can also improve the sustainability credentials of raw materials used.
The Motor Control Centre and services are installed into the GRP kiosk onto the pre-drilled steel base. The Busbar jointing, Interconnecting and external cabling to local kiosk services are all installed. Reliability of the Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) is improved, due to the MCC, kiosk services and cabling being fully installed. Certain aspects of the Site Acceptance Test (SAT) are no longer required with a DfMA solution, such as re-installing busbar fish plates, interconnecting wiring and carrying out flash testing, all reducing time on-site and creating a positive left-hand shift to the delivery process.