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Analysis of TOTAL assembly time required per steering knuckle assembly

Required assembling time for a backing plate to the steering knuckle will be 2 seconds as it comes under the section of “Get Heavy” as the weight for a steering knuckle is considerably high. For the Hub to the knuckle, the assembling time will be 1 second as it comes under “Get Medium or Tool Easy”. After that for assembling time for Disk to Hub will be 2 seconds as it comes under “Get Medium Complex” and lastly for Caliper to knuckle the assembling time will be 3 seconds as it comes under “Put Heavy”.

Therefore the total assembling time for one steering knuckle will be (2+1+2+3) = 8 seconds.


Processes Time Taken for Assembly Total time is taken for Completed Product Total Time
Backing Plate to Knuckle 2+3+2+2+2 (4+2)*3+3 32
Hub to Knuckle 2+3+2+2+2 (4+2)*4+4 39
Disk to hub 2+2+2+3+2 (4+2)*1+1 18
Calliper to Knuckle 2+3+2+2+2 (4+2)*2+2 31


Table 1: Time Per Knuckle

(Source: Self-Created)

Hence the total time that is taken for the assembly line is 120 seconds.

For the RHS knuckle, the time taken is another 120 seconds. Therefore to assembly, a knuckle for a car will take around 240 seconds. This has taken into consideration they are readily available without taking into consideration the total distance that they have to travel.

The number of total working hours for the project is 200*7=1400 hours for a single operator.

Calculation of Number of Operators and tooling needed

Therefore the production to meet the criteria for 40000 cars will need to produce 80000 knuckles and to be on the safe side, there is a 20% percent rejection rate. Therefore acquiring into the factors for rejection, a total of 10000 knuckles are to be produced. To calculate the raw scenario, a single operator if working can produce 42000 knuckles. There has to be 4 stations which will produce the parts that are required for assembly. Another assembly line to produce tools like bolt, screws and so on. There should be at least 4 operators who will carry that product of this assembly line to the assembly area. In this, there will be further 2 operators that will work on assembling the knuckle.

There will have to be 2 assembly stations that are to be needed to meet the criteria.

 Design of assembly process

For this assignment, the selected assembly process will be “mass customization”. The process of mass customization is new in the field of product assembling. Mass customization fulfills a customer’s demand with the help of “mass production efficiency”. The principle of this process is the manufacturing and customization of goods in large quantity for a large market. Mass customization able to perform multiple “product configurations and variants” obtained from some core products. In recent time the production line has progressed a lot from simple and easy assembling lines to a hard and complex system for assembly. The process of mass customization can be applied to different products as per the product’s flexibility and frequency of purchasing.

Approaches for Mass Customization

The process of mass customization primarily has four major approaches, these are:

Collaborative Customization

In the approach of collaborative customization, the product line customizers work with the client and identify some specific characteristics that need to be fulfilled as per the demand of the client. This approach is acceptable for “highly customization centric clientele” business. The approach is ideal for those clients who do not have a clear vision regarding what they exactly need and confuse themselves with a different variety. Therefore in collaborative customization, customizer guides the client to select the best process of product line assembling.

Adaptive Customization

In the adaptive customization approach, businesses offer a single standard product to the consumers with some option for customization. The approach ensures that the designing of the product should be done in a specific way that it can be latter easily customized by the consumers. The approach is ideal for those clients who have multiple expectations from their product in different circumstances.

Cosmetic Customization

The approach of cosmetic customization presents a single product in a different way to multiple clients. The approach of cosmetic customization is ideal for those clients who want to utilize a standard product but the product must be presented differently.  In this approach, the products are not customized instead of that similar product packaged in a different way to suit different types of consumers. Though the name of the approach might confuse some people the approach is highly valuable in the market.

Transparent Customization

In the approach of transparent customization, the product is customized for a particular client but the client is unaware of the issue that the product is exclusively customized for the client. In transparent customization, businesses are done by examining the behavior of a client without any direct conversation and the customization of the product is done assessing their behavior.

These are the four major approaches for mass customization and among these approaches, collaborative customization approach will be implemented for the product assembly line.

Though mass customization is ideal for product assembling line as per the new innovative approaches, there are still some concerns and challenges associated with mass customization, these are:

Challenges for higher cost

The biggest concern of mass customization is that it is a costly approach and can not be applicable to all markets. Most of the clients will be less interested as they had to pay an extra amount for the customization.

Applicable for luxury products

The mass customization process is profitable for high price luxury products and can not be used small end basic products.

Return of Customized Product

The process of mass customization is also establishing issues for the customizer in the case where the customized product returns. The issue does not occur on a regular basis as the product is customized as per the consumer’s demand but still, there are some situations where the product returns.


  1. B) Process Chart


Exact Time(sec) Characteristic Description
2 Operation Steering Knuckle LHS
1 Operation Steering Knuckle RHS
3 Operation Backing plate
2 Inspection Brake Disk
2 Operation Hub Assy
1 Operation Caliper Assy LHS
2 Operation M12x 50mm Bolt
2 Inspection M12x 45.4mm Bolt
2 Inspection M8 Torx countersunk
2 Inspection M6 Torx Screw


Table 1: Operator Time

(Source: Self-Created)


  1. C) Each station will need a custom jig for every assembling stage and it is worth 3500 pounds. Other than that the assembly station will need a “75Nm power tool” worth 3000 pounds each, a “25Nm power tool” worth 1500 pounds each, a “15Nm power tool” worth 1200 pounds each, a chair worth 500 each and conveyors costing 7500 pounds per meter.


D)Takt time = (Available time/Demand)

Here, Demand is 40000 units per year

Available time is (200*7) = 1400 hours

therefore, Takt Time will be = 1400/40000 = 0.35 hours

Design of Assembly Area Layout and Warehouse Layout

  1. A) Design of Assembly Area Layout

Assembly Line

A product can be defined as an item that is planned, produced and delivered to the desired consumer with the intention to make a profit and improve customer’s “quality of life”. A product is made with different parts, where a part can be defined as a product’s single unit and by combining those units a product is produced. Therefore, the assembly can be termed as the process of bringing all the required parts to produce a product. An assembly line consists of multiple stages and components that need to be followed systematically to run the process of assembly smoothly. These stages are:

Work Station

The work station of an assembly line is the place where a specific amount of tasks are performed for total assembling. The work station consists of different materials, tools, jigs, other required machines, guidelines, and operators. According to the work function of the station, not a single work-piece return to the station if it once already visited the line of assembly.


The process of assembly line consists of a series of actions in a sequenced way and it is applied to the work-piece at the time it proceeds on the assembly line, each of the sequenced actions is termed as operation.


An operator is an individual who carries out the sequenced action in an assembly line. Operators carry out their tasks in two ways; the first one is manual with the help of hand tools and the second one is with the help of automatic tools. The minimum number of required operators can be calculated by,

“Minimum number of operators = (Total consumed time in the product assembly line/ Takt Time)”

Material Handling

Material handling can be defined as the work process that handles the function after the product is assembled, these functions include transportation of the product, storing the product and sequencing the parts. In an ideal situation, a part which is ready for the process of assembling should be directly sent to the assembling site to reduce the extra cost that could be induced for future storing of product and transportation. The process of material handling does not cost any extra amount to the final product and hence it is termed to be the main source of waste in a system of production and different steps must be implemented to minimize the issue.

Material Flow

A never-ending process of transportation of different required raw materials, essential parts and multiple components from their actual location of the source to the location of assembling in a production system is called material flow. In an assembly production line material flow is one of the critical aspects as the occurrence of any issue in the process of material flow can influence the overall production system.

Product Process Pattern

“Product process pattern” can be defined as the strategy implemented the production authorities for the capacity and feature of the production. “Product process pattern” can be divided into two parts, these are “job shop production system” and “flow line production system”.

Order Orientation

Order orientation is the strategy where production was done according to the demand of the consumer. Primarily there are three main strategies implemented by the producers to design the production process, these are: “Make to Stock (MTS)”, “Make to Order (MTO)”, “Assemble to Order (ATO)”.

  1. B) Design of Warehouse Layout

Warehouse design is another vital task in the production system, designers had to cautious while designing the warehouse as they need to utilize the available space in a certain way. There are some criteria that need to be checked before planning for warehouse design. These are:

  • Utilized the available space to the fullest.
  • Minimum effort should be applied for handling the goods.
  • Stored products can be easily accessed.
  • Make the rotation ratio as high as possible.
  • Offer flexibility on the product’s positioning.

To ensure that the given objectives are fulfilled, first, the warehouse design must be prepared. The “warehouse layout design” should consist of the below-mentioned areas.

  1. A) Loading and Unloading Area

“Loading and unloading area” in a warehouse is the place where vehicles usually stops to transport or distribute products. Generally, the area is located outside the warehouse.

  1. B) Reception Area

The reception area is the place where the products are dispatched and received and the area is also utilized for product sorting and quality control.

  1. C) Storage Area

As the name suggests, the area is used for storing products in the warehouse. Products are stored in a warehouse in primarily three ways, these are: stored on the ground, stored on the ground but arranged in a stack of blocks and stored on a racking unit.

  1. D) “Order Picking Area”

“Order picking areas” are not mandatory in all the warehouses, this area is specifically required when there is a different configuration in the product from the time it entered the warehouse or unless there are some modifications done.

  1. E) Dispatch Area

Dispatch areas are used for packing the ordered products in the previously mentioned “order picking area”. The area should be located on the other side of the warehouse away from the installation process.

F)Service Area

There must be an area in the warehouse where general activities of a workplace must be conducted, the area should have an office for the management team, room for changing clothes, washroom and other necessary things.  [Referred to appendix 1]

Assembly line simulation

The simulation was performed in the “Flexsim Express Application” as per the given criteria. There are two sources in the simulation, where the source will be palate and other sources will be boxed. The palate source will then connected to queue 1 and the next source will be connected to queue number 2 to 5. The queue 1 will be connected to the processor 1 and from there to queue 6 and then to combiner 1. The other 4 queues will be connected to processor 2 and from there to queue 7 and then to combiner 2. The palates from combiner 1 will be then conveyed with the help of conveyor belt to queue 8 and then to the end source. The boxes from other queues will be transferred to combiner 2 and then with the help of conveyor belt to the queue 9 and lastly to the end source. [Referred to appendix 2]

Reference List


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Franciosa, P., Gerbino, S. and Ceglarek, D., 2016. Fixture capability optimisation for early-stage design of assembly system with compliant parts using nested polynomial chaos expansion. Procedia CIRP41, pp.87-92.

Guzmán, A.M.V. and Garza, M.T.V., 2018, January. Design of a centralized warehouse layout and operation flow for the automotive industry: A simulation approach. In The Second European International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management.

Hasan, B. and Wikander, J., 2016. Product feature modelling for integrating product design and assembly process planning. International Journal of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering10(10), pp.1760-1770.

Muharni, Y. and Khoirunnisa, M., 2019, May. Warehouse Layout Designing of Slab Using Dedicated Storage and Particle Swarm Optimization. In IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering (Vol. 532, No. 1, p. 012003). IOP Publishing.

Naik, S.B. and Kallurkar, S., 2016. A literature review on efficient plant layout design. International Journal of Industrial Engineering7(2).

Nguyen, M. and Vaikuntanathan, S., 2016. Design principles for nonequilibrium self-assembly. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences113(50), pp.14231-14236.

Pugna, A., Negrea, R. and Miclea, S., 2016. Using six sigma methodology to improve the assembly process in an automotive company. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences221, pp.308-316.

Sazan, H., Piperno, S., Layani, M., Magdassi, S. and Shpaisman, H., 2019. Directed assembly of nanoparticles into continuous microstructures by standing surface acoustic waves. Journal of colloid and interface science536, pp.701-709.

Zhou, L., Liu, J., Fan, X., Zhu, D., Wu, P. and Cao, N., 2019. Design of V-Type Warehouse Layout and Picking Path Model Based on Internet of Things. IEEE Access7, pp.58419-58428.

Online Articles

ijsimm.com, (2016), Production Logistics Simulation and Optimization of Industrial Enterprise Based on  Flexsim, Available at:http://www.ijsimm.com/Full_Papers/Fulltext2016/text15-4_732-741.pdf [Accessed on 25.11.19]

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ijanmc.org, (2018), Study on Modeling and Simulation of Logistics Sorting System Based on Flexsim , Available at: http://ijanmc.org/201704/iccnea257-43.pdf  [Accessed on 25.11.19]


flexsim.com, (2019), flexsim, https://www.flexsim.com/videos/basic-combiner-use/  [Accessed on 25.11.19]

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hbr.org, (2019), Production-Line Approach to Service, Available at:  https://hbr.org/1972/09/production-line-approach-to-service  [Accessed on 25.11.19]