1998-02-23

Evaluation of Instrument Panel Designs for Cost of Manufacture and Environmental Impact 980440

This paper considers possibilities for redesign of a current model Truck Instrument Panel in order to reduce manufacturing costs and to increase the likelihood of end-of-life material recovery. A new design concept for the Instrument Panel is proposed which would have had the potential to achieve the following benefits:
  • a reduction in the number of assembly steps for the main assembly and the principal mechanical subassemblies from 482 to 121.
  • a reduction in assembly and manufacturing costs of $35.60 per Instrument Panel.
  • a dramatic improvement in ease of disassembly at the end of useful life with the possibility of substantially reducing environmental impact from Instrument Panel manufacture.
The cost savings predicted in this work are based only on comparisons of assembly costs, and the manufacturing costs of the main structural parts of the instrument panel. For this reason the predicted savings are conservative ones, since they ignore the savings in parts cost which will result from the simplification of many of the sub-units and, to a lesser extent from the elimination of numerous spacers and separate fasteners.

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