The Design for Manufacturing or the DFM is the process of designing products to ease the manufacturing process, to reduce the manufacturing complexity, and the cost. DFM fixes the potential problems in the design stage. Manufacturing functions such as fabrication, assembly, test, procurement, shipping, delivery, service, and repair are all optimized by DFM. DFM also considers and resolves such issues as the best cost, quality, regularity compliance, reliability, time to market and customer satisfaction.
Basically, in DFM you make all your strategies to manufacture a product, from your ideas to the assembling of parts. This is done in the very early stages where you can change your design, reduce your faults with the lowest cost and save your time by preventing the use of wrong components. It reduces the labor material and overhead cost as well.
It reduces the development production cycle because all the analyses, strategies and designs of the product are already made. Therefore, DFM helps to find the best approach for creating a product so that after that you just need to manufacture your product from the raw material.
The Product is designed for the production
The main goal of DFM is to ensure that your product is properly designed for the prototyping and final production to eliminate manufacturing problems. All the analyses are done before the manufacturing of the product, from the idea stage to the assembly and marketing stage. This makes you 100% sure about your product.
Design for manufacturing (DFM) rules
DFM rules play a vital role in a manufacturing system. Some of DFM rules are discussed below.
Minimize the part count
The basic and the first rule is to minimize the components of a product in an effective way to reduce the production cost without losing the quality or value of the product. The below image shows how component elimination can lead to a better product design.
Use standard parts
Use of standards for a product is of great importance in reducing the cost and complexity. Custom made components are often more expensive than standard components. Standardization also reduces the prototyping and manufacturing of a product’s lead time due to the availability of standard components in the market.
Create modular design
The creation of a modular design is very helpful in the production of a product. By developing a modular design, you can easily test, redesign, update, assemble, …etc. without losing the functionality of the product. It also allows using of standard components to minimize the product variations. However, by applying these rules, connections may be a limiting factor in assembling the product.
Design the parts to be multifunctional
When developing the parts of a product, try to make them multifunction so that these parts can be used for more than one function. By developing multifunctional parts, you can reduce the total number of parts in your product. In addition, using multi-use parts makes manufacturers capable of making one purchase order from a supplier for a component that can be used in may productions orders by the manufacturer.
Design for ease of fabrication
A combination of selections in choosing the proper material and the requirements of the fabrication process can reduce the manufacturing cost. Such a selection should be optimized to make the fabrication process easier.
Minimize assembly directions
During the assembling process, all components should be assembled from one direction. The best option is to assemble them from above and in a vertical direction. It means that they should be downwards. Using this method, the earth gravity will help the process of assembly contrary to the case were different directions are used.
Use of maximum compliance
Due to the variation in parts’ dimension, it is necessary to consider compliance in designing parts and their assembling to improve errors occurring during the insertion operation
Always use symmetrical parts to minimize handling problems such as positioning, orientation and fixing a component.