Engineering, Redesigning Something That Exists

Redesigning something that exists – 1A (Multi-tool)

7-in-1 Multitool by SWISS+TECH

(BodyGard® 7-In-1 Platinum Series Emergency Tool)

This project began as a part of Professor Andrew Gadzic’s class, Design for Manufacturability. The goal was to use Boothroyd and Dewhurst Inc. DFMA (Design for Manufacturing and Assembly) and Hitachi AEM (Assembly Evaluation Method) to determine the approximate assembly time and labour cost associated with the current design.

The current design has a pending patent according to their instruction manual. Take a look at the features from their video. It is quiet fascinating. (Keep the volume of the video high enough and you will also, probably find it funny near the end because of the acting).

SWISS+TECH has made some very useful products which are helpful during emergencies. However, it seems that they have probably had to make a trade off between the design and operability. But fear not, SWISS+TECH, the new design concept, after careful consideration and analysis, not only reduces assembly time and the associated labour costs, but also removes unwanted parts and makes it look as good as the original one.

The current design, when given a closer look, has about 39 parts (the total number of screws used are 9), with a structure sequence as shown in the image below:

part count

Currently, through DFA method, the model has an assembly efficiency of 36% and design efficiency of 17%; through AEM, the model has an assembly efficiency of 65% and design efficiency of 30%. Finally, the model has a part count design efficiency of only about 46%. From our estimation, it takes about 326 seconds to assemble this model one time. That is a lot of time, especially if it is assembled by humans.

The newer design is aesthetically the identical twin (with minor differences, here and there), but economically, a saver and has the assembly time cut by more than half.

Check out the newer modified design here.

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