Design For Assembly methods generally focus on the product design and rarely on the associated assembly line. This paper describes a methodology that can be used to design both the product and the associated assembly line. The proposed methodology is based on the observation that essential characteristics of an optimal design can be determined regardless of production conditions : the latter only introduce supplementary and specific constraints on the design.
In a first step, performances of all the assembly operations are evaluated for different assembly methods (i. e. manual, robotized and automated). The results of this first analysis are an optimized product design and information for the assembly line design.
A second step concentrates on the balance of the assembly line taking into account the required production volume. It appears that some adaptations of the product design may be necessary to improve a station occupation rate.
The paper concludes with an example of the redesign of a mass produced machine.