Outcomes of an Effective DFM

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The results of a successful DFM are quantifiable in a number of ways.  Such as :

  1. Minimize the number of product parts : Limiting the number of parts in your product is always an easy way to lower the cost of a product.  Because it automatically reduces the amount of material and assembly labor required. Reducing the number of parts also means less engineering, production, labor and shipping costs.
  2. Use standardized parts wherever possible : Customization is not only expensive but it is also time consuming. Standardized parts are already made to meet the same quality metrics, every time. They are already tooled. So you save costs and you won’t have to wonder whether they will pass inspection.
  3. Create a modular design : Using modules can simplify any future product redesign, and also allows for use of standard components and the re-use of modules in other projects.
  4. Design multifunctional parts : This seems rather obvious, but it is a simple way to reduce the total number of parts: design parts with more than one function.
  5. Design multiuse products. Building on the point above, different products can share parts that have been designed for multi-use.
  6. Design for ease of fabrication : Choose the ideal combination between the material and manufacturing process that will minimize production costs. You can avoid expensive and labor extensive final operations as painting, polishing and finish machining.
  7. Design your product to join without using screws, fasteners or adhesives : Is it possible for your product to interlock or clip together? Screws add only about 5% to the material cost, but 75% to the assembly labor. So you need to remember that if fasteners are required, try to keep the size, number and type to a minimum and use standard fasteners whenever possible.
  8. Design your part to minimize handling, especially during production and assembly: Handling includes positioning, orienting and fastening the part into place. For orientation purposes, use symmetrical parts wherever possible.
  9. Minimize assembly direction : If possible, your parts should assemble from one direction. Ideally, parts should be added from above, parallel to the gravitational direction (AKA downward.) This way assembly is facilitated by gravity rather than fought by it.
  10. Design your part to maximize compliance : Rely on built-in design features like tapers or chamfers, or moderate radius sizes to guide insertion of equipment and to protect the part from damage.

It has been said that about 70 percent of manufacturing costs of a product that is the cost of materials, processing and assembly  are determined by design decisions. If that’s the case, then you want to make sure you are adhering to the best design practices possible.