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Design for Manufacturing, sustainable design is crucial these days.

1 December 2020

We attach more and more value to high quality products that are sustainable. This includes the production process, which must be as sustainable as possible. Maybe you have read our article about Design for Assembly and Design for Disassembly. This article is about Design for Manufacturing (DFM), a crucial  part of product development. From metal plastic casting to cleaning and logistics, DFM is used in all kinds of processes. But what is the difference between DFM and DFA?

What is Design for Manufacturing?

Minimizing the complexity of manufacturing operations and reducing costs. Design for Manufacturing (DFM), literally: designing for the manufacturability, is a methodology where the focus is on the manufacturability of the design. It is the technical practice that focuses on the effective and efficient production of parts that form a complete product after assembly. It looks at minimizing the complexity of a part. By optimizing production, quality is improved and production costs can be kept to a minimum. 

DFM is crucial for parts that need to be produced in large numbers or when multiple production processes are required. In small quantities, DFM helps to achieve a final design with fewer repetitions and prototypes. 

The importance of Design for Manufacturing

The application of DFM starts in the early stage of the design process, before tooling has started. The right tools are the key to unlocking the analytical problem of DFM, but the principles are a good start. These are the DFM principles:

  • The choice of the production process of a product or part has a huge impact on the structure. The chosen process must fit the product or part. 
  • A powerful DFM strategy should give product designers direct insight into the choice of product design and how it relates to an efficient production process.
  • Optimize the relationship between the required material and the production process to minimize costs. 
  • Use standard parts or components
  • A DFM approach should estimate the total costs imposed by the tooling needs related to the different design decisions. 
  • All products must meet safety and quality standards

The main advantages of Design for Manufacturing

There are several important advantages of DFM. The first is that without a DFM approach, production problems are revealed when a product is already in production. The right DFM tools can identify problems in the product while it is still in the design process. The second is that DFM not only provide warnings, but also recommendations for solving production problems. Another important advantage is that the potential for lower costs can be seen without affecting the design. Optimizing designs can also help shorten the production and distribution timeline. Finally, Design for Manufacturing can speed up the production development timeline. Instead of waiting for feedback from suppliers on the manufacturability of each design, engineers can analyze this in-house.  

Difference Design for Manufacturing and Design for Assembly

It can be useful to know the difference between Design for Manufacturability (DFM) and Design for Assembly (DFA). Design for Assembly (DFA) focuses on designing a product so that it can be easily assembled and disassembled (DFD). This approach focuses on principles such as minimizing the total number of parts, ensuring that parts are easy to insert, and limiting assembly requirements to simple, repeatable movements. 

The focus at DFM is on individual parts with the goal of reducing or eliminating complex or unnecessary features that would make production difficult. DFA is focused on reducing and standardizing parts and (sub) assemblies. The goal is to reduce assembly time and costs. 

DFM and DFA are both important at an early stage of product design. The primary goal of both methods is to make a product and the associated process as efficient as possible.

Definition DFM 

Design for Manufacturing is a method to effectively and efficiently produce parts that, after assembly, form a complete product. 

Definition DFA 

Design for Assembly is a design method for a product with the ease of assembly with fewer parts in the product. 

Definition DFD 

Design for Disassembly is a design process that allows products, parts and materials to be easily recovered for reuse.

Rompa in Manufacturing

Do you want to know more about Design for Manufacturing, or do you want to know how Rompa implements DFM in their production processes? Don’t hesitate to contact us. We will happy to answer all your questions and provide additional advice.