What is DFM?
Design for Manufacturing (DFM) is the process of designing components for ease of manufacturing high quality products at a lower cost. This is done by lowering complexity, optimizing performance, and redefining the product.
Why is DFM Important?
DFM is an important part of any product development cycle. It should be applied early in the process for the most cost and time savings. A good DFM involves all stakeholders to make sure every need is taken into account and planned for. These are manufacturers, engineers, suppliers, designers.
The 5 Principles of DFM
Using the right manufacturing process is important. The process should use lower-capitalized methods for cost-effective production. It should be optimized to fit each component. Process should also take tolerances and materials needed into account. Swaging is a process that makes DFM quicker and more costs effective.
The more complex the design, the higher the risk. A simple design is usually the best way to go. This is in terms of cost, manufacturing, use, and maintenance. However, all designs should stick to good manufacturing principles. The design must get into more details such as thicknesses, greater specifications for tolerance, texture, and consistency.
Choosing the right materials in the early stages can save you time and money. Your choice of materials has an impact on cost and quality. A few things play a role when choosing materials. A good chat with your contractor can go a long way. Some properties to think about are mechanical properties, flammability, conductance, and thermal properties. For more information on choosing materials, read our Comprehensive Plating Guide or download our Quick Reference Plating Guide.
Each part of your product must be designed for the environment it will be used. You must take every operating condition into account. All parts of the product must be able to perform in these conditions.
Finally, testing must be thorough. All products and components must comply with industry standards in each stage. These standards can be industry, internal, or company standards. These standards must be considered in all stages of DFM.
Lowering Manufacturing Costs with DFM in the Growing Tech World
Over the last decade, supply chains across industries have grown more complex. There is more pressure to lower cost while keeping quality. As such, it is a great time for industries such as Hi-tech and medical devices to use DFM.
New technology, smart devices, changing consumer needs, and shrinking product life cycles have added to the growing tech world. But these changes come with many problems. Manufacturing companies are finding it harder to keep up with the complex supply chain structure. Competitive pricing, and the constant pressure to keep up with industry standards are other problems.
With an inflow of medical devices, manufacturing costs and standards are a growing topic of concern, for example. As the industry grows, medical devices are growing more complex. DFM allows manufacturers to design high quality medical devices much faster while sticking to safety standards.
How DFM Shortens Product Development Cycles
DFM also leads to operational efficiency and inspires collaboration amongst global suppliers across departments and vendors. As industries across sectors expand and create more complex designs, DFM can be used to achieve launch goals. Companies need methods to simplify processes, reduce costs, increase quality, and get rid of delays.
DFM can be used to shorten product development cycles. A good DFM will help identify and get rid of design flaws. This avoids issues and costly re-design changes.
A rough design will often turn out to be more difficult to apply. This leads to higher costs and slower product development. Simplifying the processes involved in each of the stages can shorten product development cycles.
A good DFM will help calculate costs upfront and lower the total cost of ownership. Via DFM, expenses can be managed in the design stage itself. With DFM, designs can be discussed, and more cost-effective solutions can be applied. That being said, quality control is the most important aspect of any product. Each part and process needs to be tested to check that quality meets industry standards.
DFM can add value to product designs across industries. Different designs options can be explored, and processes can be optimized to lower costs at higher quality.
About Bead Electronics
Bead Electronics, is a global manufacturer of electronic connector pins and has been manufacturing in Connecticut for over 100 years. The award-winning company carries over 500 patents and is best known for inventing its manufacturing process called swaging. This process is a high-speed, virtually scrap-less, cold-forming process capable of producing a wide size range of metal electronic components that are consistent and cost-effective. The family-owned business is led by its fifth generation. Click here to speak to a connector pin specialist today.