Photo of Peter Dewhurst

Peter Dewhurst

  • National Medal of Technology and Innovation
  • Management

For their concept, development and commercialization of Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DFMA), which has dramatically reduced costs, improved product quality and enhanced the competitiveness of major U.S. manufacturers.

Peter Dewhurst joined Geoffrey Boothroyd to create a software package aimed at improving efficiency and reducing cost for manufacturers. The Design for Automatic and Manual Assembly (DFMA) method had two unique principles; reduce the number of assembly operations by reducing the number of parts, and make the assembly operations easier to perform.

DFA principles stood in stark contrast to the dominant guideline of the time, known as producibility, which directed designers to focus on simplifying individual parts so they were easier to manufacture and cost less. Major companies such as Ford and General Motors estimated that they were saving billions of dollars through implementing DFA.

As interest in DFA software expanded, so did interest in achieving precise knowledge of the cost savings associated with it. In 1985, Drs. Boothroyd and Dewhurst conducted further research that allowed for a Design for Manufacture (DFM) module to be added, and together they’re referred to as DFMA, which continues to be widely used in manufacturing operations worldwide.

By Jen Santisi