Wednesday, July 29, 2015

What ‘Design For Manufacturing’ Can Do For Your Business

A customer sees a manufactured final product as a homogenous whole. But the manufacturer knows the vast number of small and big parts that have gone into the making of the whole. Each of these parts adds to the cost of the final product. Design for Manufacturing (DFM) is a method designed to minimize the complexity of the manufacturing operation and thereby reduce the number of parts required and the overall production cost, without compromising on either quality or functionality. In other words, DFM simplifies the manufacturing process and in doing so, reduces the production cost.

DFM provides the best answer to two key manufacturing questions:
  • What needs to be added to the final product to increase its market?
  • What can be removed without affecting market acceptance?

What DFM Does The basic aim of DFM is cost reduction and simplification of the manufacturing process, which is achieved by the following.
  • Examining design changes and system modifications that will reduce material and labor costs, and overheads
  • Finding ways to streamline the product development cycle
  • Creating standards and practices that will reduce manufacturing costs

DFM does not produce miracles. It looks at “what is” and “what could be”, and finds ways to bridge the gap between the two. Product development is an ongoing process that continually upgrades what is sent to the market. In this process, modifications and changes are made time after time. The cost, both in terms of production and market acceptability is an important factor. However, it is often examined “on the fly.” Going back to the beginning to examine the cost structure will be too time consuming, which could affect production runs and prove to be costlier in terms of capital investment. DFM takes a holistic view of the manufacturing process at every stage to find cost effective solutions.

How DFM Works  
  • DFM looks closely at the product cycle and manufacturing process and finds ways for the following. Standardization of materials and parts used
  • Creation of modular assemblies that are economical to fabricate and easy to assemble
  • Creation of designs for the maximum joining efficiency
  • Minimization of the parts count and inventory
  • Reduction of the amount of reorientation required during machining and assembly
  • Reduction and simplification of the total number of machining operations in forceFinding and specifying acceptable levels for surface finishes that do not compromise functionality
What DFM Means to a Manufacturer

With DFM your manufacturing unit can expect the following. 
  • Reduction of complexity
  • Consistent quality in the manufacturing process
  • Reliability of systems and processes
  • Reduction of costs
DFM is a specialized field and the best way to incorporate it into your production process is to work with a company that has the expertise to give you the results you expect. Look for one that that has a value system that focuses on understanding customer needs and your own objectives. Working with them will provide solutions that have a tangible impact on both the bottom line and the market.