IS YOUR PRODUCT MANUFACTURABLE?
Design for Manufacturing or DfM looks at a design through the lens of manufacturability. How will it be made? DfM goes beyond simply engineering a design, to intentionally designing a product that supports how it will be manufactured.
At Simplexity, clients rely on our engineers to not only design for manufacturing DfM but also evaluate designs for “DfX” which includes assembly, serviceability and testability considerations.
For those familiar with Six Sigma, “DfX” is often defined as “Design for Excellence”. While this doesn’t contradict how we define “DfX” directly, we should clarify that our definition of DfX differs slightly from the Six Sigma definition. Within product development, DfX stands for “Design for X”, where the “X” can mean various objectives that are important to the functionality of a product. In this context, DfX most typically includes Design for Manufacturing (DfM), but also includes Design for Assembly (DfA), and Design for Test (DfT) or Serviceability (DfS).
Having a solid understanding and plan for how DfM or DfX will be addressed is critical to having a successful product through manufacturing and over its entire product life.
DfM and DfX Evaluations
DfM and DfX evaluation is engrained in Simplexity’s Product Development Process and Simplexity engineers consider how a product will not only be manufactured but also assembled, tested, and serviced during the early stages of design and architecture. Clients will also reach out to ask for design reviews of a concept or prototype and turn-key DfM and DfX evaluations. What processes will be used to make the parts? What tooling might be needed? How will the parts be joined together? Is there a way to simplify assembly? Which areas of the design would need to be serviced and is there an easy way of designing them into replaceable subsystems? How many test points should be placed on a PCA? How will critical areas be tested during manufacturing in a way that optimizes production throughput?
Clients benefit from DfM and DfX evaluations as they enable the end product to be more easily manufacturable, and simpler to assemble, test, and service. Identifying these opportunities early in the design process when they are less costly to accommodate helps clients minimize costs and yields higher reliability products.
For an example of how Simplexity’s DfX evaluation, coupled with full system design, reduced the number of unique parts from 22 to 9, read the Senaptec Strobe Eyewear case study. DfX activities also led to a much shorter assembly time and doubled battery reliability. Other improvements included a 35% reduction in manufacturing costs and a substantial drop in post-delivery returns.
Simplexity design engineers work together with the internal NPI team, manufacturing engineers, and trusted contract manufacturers and part fabricators to ensure that designs are easy to fabricate. Evaluations and tradeoffs between manufacturing processes and vendors are shared openly with clients so that informed decisions are made collaboratively. As the client, you will receive a report of the tradeoffs between different manufacturing technologies at various production volumes, estimated costs, and Simplexity’s recommended path forward. This will give you the peace of mind that you are pursuing an optimized DfM path for your product.
For more on this topic, read these additional case studies and blogs:
- Getting the most out of your prototype builds
- Food automation vending machine case study
- When should I start designing for high-volume manufacturing?
- Automated point-of-care disinfection device case study
- Preemadonna Nailbot case study
- When should you consider designing custom gears?
Contact Simplexity to discuss how DfM or DfX Evaluations can improve your product and lead to lower costs. We look forward to hearing from you soon!