Design for manufacturability is the general engineering practice of designing products in such a way that they are easy to manufacture. The concept exists in almost all engineering disciplines, but the implementation differs widely depending on the manufacturing technology.
Design for Manufacturing (DFM) is the process of designing parts, components or products for ease of manufacturing with an end goal of making a better product at a lower cost. This is done by simplifying, optimizing and refining the product design.
The following chart offers an excellent visual representation of the effect of an early DFM. As the design progresses through the product life cycle, changes become more expensive, as well as more difficult to implement. Early DFM allows design changes to be executed quickly, at the least expensive location.
The acronym DFMA (Design for Manufacturing and Assembly) is sometimes used interchangeably with DFM. Design for assembly (DFA) is a process by which products are designed with ease of assembly in mind. If a product contains fewer parts it will take less time to assemble, thereby reducing assembly costs.
The following five principles are examined during a DFM:
Ideally, DFM needs to occur early in the design process, well before tooling has begun. In addition, properly-executed DFM needs to include all the stakeholders, engineers, designers, contract manufacturers, mold builders, and material suppliers. The intent of this “cross-functional” DFM is to challenge the design and to look at the design at all levels: component, sub-system, system, and holistic levels to ensure the design is optimized and does not have unnecessary cost embedded in it.
Serving national and international markets, McAlpin Industries offers a full-service assembly operation to our customers in a variety of industries. Contact us to learn how McAlpin Industries can assist with Design for Manufacturability.