In order to be competitive, modern products must be designed with a view to production methods in which a production system should to be designed in a cost-effective way and the system is able to operate at optimal or near-optimal conditions. Nevertheless, design of a production system can be a complex process and any small change of the system design often makes a significant impact on the overall system performance. In the real-world industry, implementation of the entire production system is often very expensive and cost of ‘getting it wrong’ can be very high. For these reasons, both system and product designers need to work together to ensure a ‘right first time’ scenario. Virtual prototyping techniques offer a potential solution to the major difficulties involved in design, analysis and performance evaluation of a product and a production system providing a fast delivery of alternative solutions at a minimum of cost. Nowadays, virtual prototyping techniques are commonly used in manufacturing sectors involving some form of computer-aided design and modelling simulation activities.

Assignment & Tasks

This assignment is based on a case study of assembling loudspeakers on a production line that needs to be investigated. A loudspeaker manufacturer has just upgraded its loudspeaker design by incorporating some forged parts with improved magnetic characteristics for the unit, which has additional benefits of reduced part count and part features to facilitate automatic feeding as well as ease of manual assembly.


Figure 1 shows the basic structure of a loudspeaker and Figure 2 illustrates what is known as the motor unit assembly together with the voice coil. Figure 3 shows a cross-section through a typical loudspeaker. The assembly of an entire loudspeaker is illustrated in Figure 4 and 5, respectively.

The parts in the whole assembly can be grouped into two different types namely:

  1. The ‘soft’ parts.


These are the dust cap, the diaphragm, the spider and the coil.

  1. The ‘hard’ parts


These are all in the ‘motor unit’ sub-assembly including the pole piece, the magnet and the top plate, together with the frame.


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