Design For Manufacturing and Assembly, also known as DFMA, is a design-review method that helps to produce a product faster and more cost-effectively by identifying optimal part design, materials, assembly and fabrication operations. It is basically a set of guidelines which makes sure that the design of a product is such that it can be manufactured and assembled more easily and efficiently, and with minimum time, effort, and cost.
Benefits of Design For Manufacturing and Assembly
By using DFMA methodologies in the early stages of design, substantial cost reduction can be obtained due to the reduction in the number of product parts. Here is a case study which shows how Douglas Commercial Aircraft Co. discovered that the cost of most of manufacturing and assembly processes depends on the parts count, and how the same can be effectively reduced by using Design for Manufacturing and Assembly. The success of DFMA has also been observed by other users who reported up to 50% reduction in no. of parts, leading to 37% cost reduction and 50% improvement in time-to-market.
What benefits do companies get in using Design For Manufacturing and assembly?
- Do a scorekeeping to directly compare multiple designs
- Estimate the cost ramifications of a particular choice
- Minimize the total number of parts used during production
- Design parts that are easy to align and combine
- Reduce costly fastening operations
- Reduce defects incurred due to scrap, rejects, rework and correction
- Minimize overproduction by correctly estimating total parts required
- Reduce the waiting period of people and material
- Reduce the cost of inventory (too little or too much stock)
- Minimize excess processing
Apart from the above, DFMA also makes it easy to simplify and package the products, and promotes interdisciplinary teamwork.
What other advantages does DFMA have?
In addition to electronics industry, Design For Manufacture and assembly has also proven useful for the infrastructure industry in the following ways:
- Cutting material waste to landfill
- Reducing time spent working on site
- Minimizing design-related costs
- Reducing carbon footprint of components
- Reducing Time-To-Market with DFMA
By using Design For Manufacturing and Assembly strategies, companies can also:
- Find Better Suppliers: By considering various options for reducing supplier costs such as choosing a different material for the same part, choosing a single supplier instead of many, combining different components or replacing them with just a single one, etc.
- Create Better Products: By standardizing common parts which will result in reduced inventory related costs, reduced chances of wrong or low-quality parts, reduced lead times, and standard processes requiring less training and tools.
- Do Product Simplification: By finding out and eliminating unnecessary parts which will lead to a reduction in warranty and service costs, and better use of floor space.
- Reduce Fabrication Costs: By identifying unnecessary processing, as well as find materials that fit the processes and vice-versa.
This is a great video that shares more about using Design For Manufacturing and Assembly to manufacture products more quickly and efficiently. Thus, by using these methodologies, start-ups can save money as well as shorten the time-to-market of new products.