Logically, you could figure out what Design for Manufacturability means in a broad sense. What does it really mean for you and your product? Design for Manufacturability, or DFM for short, is where Design meets Production. The DFM process takes a design and produces a final design that can be manufactured properly, and at the desired cost.
This step is often skipped by those developing their first product. They end up costing more. Investing more on time and money than it should. We’ll go over some of what DFM does for your product and why it is a very key component to developing a great product.
This is the first step in DFM. An engineer or designer takes a design and reviews it to ensure the product can be manufactured as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Draft angles for injection molded parts, machinable areas for CNC, stacking tolerances, fit checks, and many more items are part of this DFM checklist.
This is where things can get interesting, such as actually increasing part count, decreasing reusable parts, etc may be required to put a product into a certain price window.
Costing looks at every cost of a product, from hardware selections, country of production, materials, and how each part needs to be made.
A Sourcing Agent is closely tied into this part of the process, and works with the designer through this process.
The part count is an easy way to estimate product complexity, assembly costs, et. Usually more is more expensive, and so a lot of work can be done to decrease the part count, make assembly easier, and take less time.
Reuse and Replacement
Material and Finish
Changing a material, or finish can change the perceived quality, actual quality, and the cost of a product drastically. Lead time is also influenced by finishes as they add extra time to production.
A lead time of a product determines how quickly a business can turn its manufacturing investment into a profit. If it takes 10 weeks to produce a product, that means a business is going to wait at least 10 weeks before it gets paid. Decreasing lead time also falls within the DFM process.
Shorter lead times mean quicker product turnaround, as well as usually less costly. Through selecting processes, materials, and finishes, the DFM process can save businesses from having long costly lead times on their products.
Your Next Steps
Kickstarters and Manufacturing: What to Pay Attention to
Choosing a Manufacturer
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