Major Benefits of a Design-For-Manufacture Review



Design-For-Manufacture (DFM) is the process of designing products so that the development cycle can be shortened and products can be manufactured at the lowest overall costs. DFM is a value-added service provided by experienced contract manufacturers (CM), that aids in the standardization of the manufacturing process in order to deliver consistent cost-efficient quality products.

For it to be successful, the DFM review should be conducted at the outset of the new product introduction (NPI), in between interactions with the original equipment manufacturer's (OEM) design group, and with the CM that is chosen to produce the product.  

Benefits of Performing a Design-for-Manufacture Review:

  1. Shorten new product development cycle.

  2. Achieve lowest total cost of ownership with materials and labor costs.

  3. Attain better or more consistent quality control through standardization.

design for manufacture engineering team
  1. Shorten New Product Introduction Cycle

The CM’s design team is geared towards helping OEMs design a product that is optimized for manufacturing and assembly. This service can be especially beneficial to those OEMs who do not have manufacturing or mechanical engineers on their team. The DFM review helps identify potential future manufacturing issues in the initial design stages to prevent costly re-design changes during the later stages of manufacturing.

Oftentimes, an intricate design by the OEM design group may turn out to be difficult to manufacture or assemble, thus adding additional cost and time to the initial development and subsequent production of the product. By simplifying and reducing the number of manufacturing operations and parts count, certain optimization techniques can help make production feasible thus shortening the product development cycle.

2. Achieve Lowest Total Cost of Ownership

By working with the CM’s procurement and sourcing team, the OEM customer is able to discuss the cost and availability of certain raw materials that are critical for the new product.  The CM reviews the Bills of Material (BOM) to help identify materials of particular concern, giving the OEM the opportunity to seek more cost effective alternatives before completely investing in the new product design.  When feasible, the CM can suggest substitute solutions that function the same or better based on availability and cost.  

With the assistance of the DFM review, the concept of modular design can be discussed and implemented to help optimize material and inventory control, which in turn reduces assembly time. It enables a faster NPI and makes a shorter turnaround time in the subsequent mass production.

3. Attain Better Quality Control

Standardization is essential to the sound building of quality control. Standard parts are tested with a long history of successful applications. The CM team can evaluate the design and production flow and implement a standard operating procedure (SOP) under which production personnel is properly trained and overall quality control is ensured.  

The CM team can also assess whether the product is designed with tolerances that are within processing capability, ensuring that product reliability can be controlled and overall product quality is guaranteed.

tolerances within processing capabilities

In summary, a DFM review can be a tremendous value-added service for the OEM. It is truly a win-win situation! By tapping into the expertise and many years of experience that a CM has accumulated, different design and manufacturing options can be explored and various costs options can be reviewed at the outset, benefiting the OEM's bottom line.   


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