Research Outline

Assembly Cost


To understant the average cost of assembly as a percentage of total finished goods costs in the manufacturing of consumer electronics, automotives, and medical devices.

Early Findings

  • Assembly costs can account for as much as 50% of the total manufacturing cost, especially if there isn't proper assembly planning during product development.
  • A study on the costs associated with producing a steel unibody designs of cars of different variants (entry-level luxury sedans, crossovers, and luxury sedans) revealed that assembly costs accounted for 37% of the total cost in all variants. The biggest cost was fabrication cost which accounted for 53% of the total cost.
  • The authors also found that "the reduction in fabrication costs due to part sharing accounted for 55% of total cost savings; the reduction in assembly costs from sharing was 29%."
  • The authors in the same study above also studied tubular designs of similar cars and found that "fabrication costs are again the largest portion of total costs, accounting for 54% of total costs; assembly cost account for 35% of total costs, with development costs making up the balance."
  • Robert Bogue describes a design for assembly and design for manufacturing model that resulted in a reduction of assembly time "from 45 to 11 min (−75 percent)" and reduction in "assembly cost from $622 to $384 (−38 percent)." However, the research paper is behind a paywall.
  • Our preliminary research didn't reveal additional data on the average cost of assembly as a percentage of total finished goods costs for manufacturing in medical device and consumer electronics manufacturing.