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DFMA in the News__ Engineer’s Toolbox: A down-to-earth flight plan for manufacturing success
ITT Aerospace uses DFMA to simplify component designs and improve manufacturability.
When ITT Aerospace Controls gets a new design order for one of the company’s custom actuators, pumps, switches, or valves, opportunity can come knocking as well. “We’re always looking for ways to innovate and improve manufacturability,” says David Vranson, advanced manufacturing engineer at the Valencia, CA-based aerospace and military supplier. “An earlier, certified design can be the jump-off point for adaptation and improvement when fulfilling a new order.”

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 A DFMA analysis identified substantial cost-cutting measures and manufacturability improvements for an air-duct valve redesigned by ITT Aerospace Controls’ engineering team: (left to right) Dave Vranson, manufacturing engineer; David Clarke, CAD designer; Davey Lopez, lead project engineer; and Peter Ciulla, project engineer.
   
In the department where Vranson works, the product development process involves a cross-discipline core team comprised of an engineering project manager, design engineer, designer/draftsmen, one or two manufacturing engineers, and a supply chain rep. Others who come to the initial meeting, and are called on as needed, include representatives from quality, manufacturing, aftermarket services, and even outside suppliers. The process also relies heavily on Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DFMA) software from Boothroyd Dewhurst to steer the analysis.

New design ideas for an old valve
When a manufacturer recently came to ITT Aerospace looking for an air-duct valve, they were interested in small quantities: a retrofit of approximately 100 aircraft at three valves per plane. The valve was part of an air-exchange system that rapidly replaces the cabin air in emergencies, such as when the cabin fills with smoke. The customer provided basic fitting information and system definitions, leaving room for engineering creativity.
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