CIRP Encyclopedia of Production Engineering

2014 Edition
| Editors: The International Academy for Production Engineering, Luc Laperrière, Gunther Reinhart


  • S. Jack Hu
Reference work entry



Assembly is defined by Webster as:
  1. (a)

    The fitting together of manufactured parts into a complete machine, structure, or unit of a machine

  2. (b)

    A collection of parts so assembled


Interestingly, the two definitions above are the two branches of assembly research: the process (and systems) of assembling as defined in (a) and product assembly as defined in (b).

Theory and Application


Assembly is the beginning and end of product realization. Product development begins with the design of product as an assembly. Questions about design for manufacturing and design for assembly are usually asked and answered during this time. Product realization ends with “assembly” as the capstone process where components and subsystems come together to form the final assembly. The assembly systems play a critical role in product quality, system productivity, and cost....
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  1. Henry Ford changes the world (1908)
  2. Hu SJ et al (2011) Assembly system design and operations for product variety. Ann CIRP – Manuf Technol 60(2):715CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Whitney DE (2004) Mechanical assemblies: their design, manufacture, and role in product development. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© CIRP 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA