Design for Manufacturing
- Optimization of manufacturing and quality processes
- Cost reduction initiatives
- Localization of parts and materials
By optimizing a product design for manufacturing, costs can be reduced and manufacturing and quality processes optimized. Ideally, design for manufacturing (DFM) is carried out in parallel with the product design itself. Making changes to improve manufacturability after the design has been completed often results in increased development costs and delays. For this reason, it is important to select the production partner at the beginning of the product development process so that DFM input can be incorporated at an early stage.
It is often possible to reduce cost through the substitution of materials and parts. For example, lower cost plastic resins or electronic components might suffice but such changes must be done with care otherwise performance criteria that are essential might be compromised. Some originally specified components might have long lead times such that orders have to be placed six months or more before delivery is needed. By identifying such components and using alternatives such impractically long lead times can be avoided.
A preliminary design might require a particularly intricate assembly process or specify a surface finish for which the required quality standard would result in a high scrap rate. Again, by identifying such issues when the product is still being designed can greatly improve the ease with which they are incorporated and ultimately lead to a product that is cheaper to produce, has a shorter production lead time and for which the long term quality standards are easier to maintain.
When we have been engaged by our customers early in the development process, at the initial concept stage, we have been able to provide our input for the improvement of the product design for manufacturing early on. In doing so there have been numerous occasions where our work has led to a simplification of a design and reduction in cost.
Once this product design for manufacturing stage has been completed the industrialization stage can proceed.