Design has a huge impact on quality manufacturing (it is stated that 80% of a quality issue during mass production are due to design) and it is particularly true in China because quite often the productions are still human-made.
What is Design For Manufacturing (DFM)?
Design For Manufacturing is a set of tools used to design product aiming to be carried in mass production, so those tools are targeting mass production optimization. In short and in casual speech, design for manufacturing activity is related to optimization and adaptation of product design in order to reduce cost, time, and resources during manufacturing and mass production.
This is normally an activity, which takes place during the engineering phase after the base of the engineering has been achieved. Some engineers with experience about DFM would implement it at the earliest stage of the engineering and would not wait for the last stage of the engineering to start optimizing their designs.
Typically, an engineer could start optimizing his engineering work taking in consideration manufacturing process as soon as the basic functionality from product requirement has been achieved by the design. This is what we do in our product development company in China when we perform industrial design for China manufacturing, mechanical engineering, or even electronic engineering service.
Why Design for Manufacturing in China is useful?
The goal is to design a product that can be easily and economically manufactured. The importance of designing for manufacturing is underlined by the fact that about 70% of manufacturing costs of a product (cost of materials, processing, and assembly) are determined by design decisions, with production decisions (such as process planning or machine tool selection) responsible for only 20%.
The great benefit of Design For Manufacturing is particularly to reduce the cost of a product during mass production, reduce mistake by operators, diminishing time to produce by removing useless extra activity and designing a product or some of their sub-parts adequately to those optimization guidelines.
How Design for Manufacturing Works
Typically, after a first base design have been done by the engineer, he would start thinking about optimization to comply with the design for manufacturing without compromising the product specification and client requirement.
The heart of any design for manufacturing system is a group of design principles or guidelines that are structured to help the designer reduce the cost and difficulty of manufacturing an item.
There are few guidelines stated for Design For Manufacturing. A few of them are indicated below:
- Reduce the total number of parts
- Develop a modular design
- Use of standard components
- Design parts to be multi-functional
- Design parts for multi-use
- Design for ease of fabrication
- Avoid separate fasteners
- Minimize assembly directions
- Maximize compliance
- Minimize handling