Tips & Resources

DFM: 5 Basic Elements of Design for Manufacturing

Cortex Content
Cortex Content January 30, 2023 • 0 min read

DFM is a critical aspect of the product development process. Targeting considerations of feasibility and cost-effectiveness of the product during production, DFM is a complex process. It requires careful consideration of numerous factors and a delicate balancing of often competing priorities and constraints. Unfortunately, some important elements of DFM are often overlooked, leading to problems later in the development life cycle. In this post, we highlight five such elements that are frequently overlooked in product development.

Material Selection:
The material used for the product can greatly impact the cost, weight, and production time of the product. Throughout DFM, it is essential to consider the properties of the material, such as its strength, durability, and compatibility with the manufacturing process, when selecting a material for the product.

Tolerance Management:
Tolerance refers to the acceptable deviation from the desired dimensions of a product. Improper tolerance management can result in a product that does not fit together correctly or does not function as intended. The biggest risk with this facet of DFM is that it only usually becomes evident once production has occurred.

Assembly Process:
The assembly process is a critical part of the DFM process. It is important to design the product so that it can be assembled efficiently and cost-effectively. This includes considering the type and number of fasteners, joints, and fixtures needed for assembly, as well as the sequence of the assembly steps.

DFM of the product should take into account the type of tooling required for the manufacturing process. This includes molds, dies, jigs, and fixtures, which can be expensive to produce and must be considered in the overall cost of the product.

The design should consider scalability, meaning the ability of the manufacturing process to accommodate changes in demand. DFM includes considerations such as the ability to change the production line or to use different manufacturing processes for different quantities of the product.

Design for Manufacturability is a crucial aspect of product development, which focuses on designing products that can be manufactured efficiently, cost-effectively, and with consistent quality. By considering the manufacturing process during the design phase, DFM helps to reduce production costs, improve the overall quality of the final product, and bring the product to market faster. In turn, it helps companies to increase competitiveness and achieve long-term success in the market. In today’s highly competitive business environment, DFM is critical to the success of any product development project and should be a key consideration in any product design and development strategy.

Recently, our Founder and Chief Product Officer, Dylan Horvath spoke on how to mitigate cost and time with outsourced manufacturing:
Another post that may be of interest on a similar topic is:
Cortex Design • Tips & Resources • How to DeRisk Your Product Design With Product Roadmapping™ (cortex-design.com)

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