Course Title: Design for Assembly and Automation

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Design for Assembly and Automation

Credit Points: 12.00

Important Information:

Please check your Canvas course shell closer to when the course starts to see if this course requires mandatory in-person attendance. The delivery method of the course might have to change quickly in response to changes in the local state/national directive regarding in-person course attendance. 


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


115H Aerospace, Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016


Bundoora Campus


172H School of Engineering


Sem 2 2019,
Sem 2 2020,
Sem 2 2021,
Sem 2 2022


RMIT University Vietnam


172H School of Engineering


Viet1 2019,
Viet1 2020,
Viet1 2021

Course Coordinator: Dr Steve Dowey

Course Coordinator Phone: 9925 2235

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Assumes knowledge of engineering design methods, design communication skills or equivalent. In order to gain the most from the practical elements in this course (for example, cobot programming and simulation), it is assumed that you will be capable of installing and running software on your own devices. 

Course Description

Assembly forms the dominant cost in a manufactured component. This course develops your capabilities in Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DFMA). You will build on prior knowledge of engineering to examine the design of products for manufacture and assembly (manual, high speed automatic and robotic) and the overarching impact of product design on product cost. Topics that will be covered include: 

  • The economics of manufacturing processes, and the cost of assembly in a manufactured product. 
  • Assessing an existing product for design efficiency.
  • Redesigning components to reduce manufacturing costs by parts integration and increasing the design efficiency.
  • Analysis of equipment to feed and orient part for robotic and high-speed assembly. 
  • Effect of component quality on productivity in automated assembly.
  • The use of collaborative robots (cobots) for assembly tasks. 


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes of the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours):

  • In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline.
  • Application of systematic engineering synthesis and design processes
  • Effective oral and written communication in professional and lay domains

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)

Upon successful completion of the course, you should be able to:

  1. Price the cost of assembly of a manufactured product
  2. Redesign the product to further reduce assembly cost
  3. Optimise the number of components in an assembly - particularly by integration with advanced manufacturing processes
  4. Analyse high-speed machinery to feed, orientate and insert components into an assembly
  5. Practically demonstrate an  awareness of the product design constraints and economics required to integrate a cobot into a generic manufacturing environment. 

Overview of Learning Activities

Learning activities can include pre-recorded lectures, tutorials, laboratories, assignments, and a final assessment. 

Overview of Learning Resources

You will be able to access course information and learning materials through Canvas ( and may be provided with additional materials in class. Lists of relevant reference books and digitalised materials at RMIT libraries will be available as well. You will also use equipment and software packages in the laboratory for the project work.   During the course, you will be directed to many websites to enhance your knowledge and understanding of difficult concepts.


A Universal Robots UR5e with a wrist camera and an assortment of grippers, configured for collaborative work, will be used for the practical aspects of this course.  Grippers include a Robotiq 2F-85 (camera integration), and OnRobot grippers: RG2-FT (Force and Torque), and VG10 (electric vacuum).  The Robot is mounted on a mobile welding table providing a stable work area.  

Overview of Assessment

This course has no hurdle requirements.


Assessment Tasks 

The assessment tasks are in one of two schedules: A or B. You will be advised at the start of the teaching period which of the schedules apply for any given teaching period and location.


Schedule A (Melbourne offering MANU1175)

Assessment item #1:  Minor project
Weighting of final grade:  10%       
Related course learning outcomes:  1, 2, 3,

Assessment item #2:  Major project
Weighting of final grade:  40%       
Related course learning outcomes:  1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Assessment item #3:  Final assignment
Weighting of final grade:  50%           
Related course learning outcomes:  1, 2, 3, 4, 5


Schedule B (Vietnam offering MANU2484)

Assessment item #1:  Minor project 1 - Design for Assembly Report
Weighting of final grade:  25%        
This assessment task supports CLO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Assessment item #2:  Minor project 2 - Product Specification 
Weighting of final grade:  25%        
Related course learning outcomes:  1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Assessment item #3:  In-Class assessment 
Weighting of final grade:  30%            
Related course learning outcomes:  1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Assessment item #4:  Final Report and Presentation 
Weighting of final grade:  20%            
Related course learning outcomes:  1, 2, 3, 4, 5