Factors Affecting DFM
As we have already discussed in our previous article about what is DFM, we clearly know that the goal of DFM is to reduce manufacturing costs without reducing performance.
In this article we will discuss the factors that can affect design for manufacturing and design for assembly:
1. Minimize Part Count
Reducing the number of parts in a product is the quickest way to reduce cost because you are reducing the amount of material required, the amount of engineering, production, labor, all the way down to shipping costs.
2. Standaradize Parts and Materials
Personalization and customization are expensive and time-consuming.
Using quality standardized parts can shorten time to production as such parts are typically available and you can be more certain of their consistency.
Material is based on the planned use of the product and it’s function.
Hence, we should consider the following points:
- How should it feel? Hard? Soft?
- Does it need to withstand pressure?
- Will your part or product need to conduct heat, electricity?
3. Create Modular Assemblies
Using non-customized modules/modular assemblies in your design allows you to modify the product without losing its overall functionality.
A simple example is a basic automobile that allows you to add in extras by putting in a modular upgrade.
4. Design for Efficient Joining
Can the parts interlock or clip together? Look for ways to join parts without the use of screws, fasteners or adhesives. If you must use fasteners, here are a few tips:
- Keep the number, size and variation of fasteners to a minimum
- Use standard fasteners as much as possible.
- Use self-tapping and chamfered screws for better placement.
- Stay away from screws that are too long or too short, separate washers, tapped holes, round heads and flatheads.
5. Minimize Reorientation of Parts During Assembly & Machining
Parts should be designed so that a minimum of manual interaction is necessary during production and assembly.
6. Streamline Number of Manufacturing Operations/Processes
The more complex the process of making your product, is the more variables for error are introduced. Since all processes have limitations and capabilities, we should only include those operations that are essential to the function of the design.
7. Define “Acceptable” Surface Finishes
Unless it must be trade show grade, go with function rather than flashy for your surface finish.