How can design for manufacture be implemented very early on a design time-line, for example, when only the function is known? Our response is embodied in an approach to design for manufacture at the function level of abstraction based on the notion of design using available assets. In this paper we focus on the solution scheme and computer implementation of our approach to design for manufacture. Our solution scheme takes the form of a Heuristic Selection Decision Support Problem, and our computer tool is called FLAME: the Function Level of Abstraction Manufacturability Evaluator. We use this tool to identify, evaluate and select potential manufacturing alternatives for products modeled at the function level of abstraction. We illustrate some of its uses by exploring the selection of manufacturing processes and materials for a component from a design of an aircraft evacuation system, although our focus is on the method rather than on the results per se.

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