October 22 | 2015

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What is DFM?

Design For Manufacturing

Design for Manufacturing, as the name implies, aims to reduce the cost and complexity of manufacturing assembly parts in the production process. More specifically, it aims to reduce the cost of labour, overhead and material; reduce the length of the product development cycle, and create standards for reducing costs.

Design for Manufacturing was introduced because of the disparity between engineering designers and manufacturers. The engineers designed a product without any input from the manufacturers, so this caused delays in product launching and hindered efforts to keep up with demand. DFM bridges the gap between manufacturers and engineers to create a product that is both marketable and easy to manufacture.

Principles and Guidelines when employing DFM

DFM is based on a set of core principles, which should be followed to gain maximum benefit from the process:

Keep the number of components to the minimum

When the absolute minimum number of parts is used, this reduces the cost of production. It also improves the reliability of the product because of fewer connections. Finally it makes it easier for maintenance when it needs to be disassembled.

Use commercially available components

This makes the manufacturing process faster and easier, not to mention more cost effective.

Use common parts in the production process

The use of common parts presents the possibility for the use of group technology to synchronise part production.

Design with part fabrication in mind

Partial geometry should be simplified and you should avoid unnecessary surface finish requirements.

Ensure adequate tolerances

Tolerances should be within process capability, otherwise you may require additional sortation.

Have foolproof products in the assembly

Products should only be allowed to be built one way. Sometimes special geometric features can be used to make the product foolproof.

Keep flexible components to a minimum

Flexible parts like rubber, belts, cables and gaskets should be kept to a minimum as they are more difficult to assemble.

Facilitate ease of assembly

Components should be designed to be assembled from one direction (usually vertically). Also, it would be beneficial to employ fast assembly techniques.

Employer modular designs

Sub assembly parts should consist of five to fifteen components. It would be easier to maintain and repair and assembly time is minimized.

Shape production parts with ease of packaging in mind

The final product should be suitable for standard cartons and ease of shipment to the customer.

Minimize or eliminate adjustment requirement

Adjustments should be designed into the product to reduce assembly time.

If you’re looking for DFM services related to sheet metal fabrication, contact the Bayview team today for more information.

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