THE DFM FACTORS
The steps of DFM include the following sequence to determine the process, design, material, environment and compliance of a given product.
1. Manufacturing Process
The first part of DFM is to determine the right types of manufacturing processes to use for the product in question. When you need to produce a product in a certain quantity, the process should reflect the scope of the production and the number of pressings planned for the run.
To determine the best manufacturing process for a given product, you should consider factors like the size of the product and the materials needed for its production. Consider, also, the steps the product’s surface require, and whether any secondary steps will need to take place beyond the fundamental assembly stages.
2. Product Design
The next part of DFM is to examine the product’s design and determine if the specs will suit the finished product, or whether you need to make any additional changes before you commence with production. The purpose of this step is to rectify possible design issues with the prior run and make your production go more smoothly and efficiently this time around.
If you revise an existing design, make sure the modifications are in keeping with fundamental design principles. Be sure to discuss all such decisions in this area with your contract manufacturer, as doing so will help you ensure your upcoming production runs according to the manufacturing principles for the product at hand.
3. Product Material
Another critical aspect of DFM is to determine which materials are necessary for the product in question. Depending on the product’s shape, size and intended use, you will need to take a variety of factors into account, such as the strength, texture and thermal properties required for the material or product.
During this step, you will need to consult with a contract manufacturer to make sure the chosen materials meet the requirements for the production at hand. If you have a certain material in mind, you will need to know whether that material will withstand heat and conduct electricity, as these factors could make or break the product.
4. Eventual Environment
Before you finalize your choices for the process, design and material of the product, you will need to examine the environments in which consumers will use it. Once you determine the kinds of effects this environment could have on the material and the shape of the product, you must then determine whether the three prior DFM choices will suffice.
Design for manufacturing examples include considering how and where consumers will be using your product. If you develop a product for use outdoors throughout the year, the materials will need to be able to withstand the full range of ambient temperatures and weather conditions. If users will be mounting the product onto other objects, the design will need to accommodate a variety of setups.
The final stage of DFM is to determine whether the design and materials for the product in question will fulfill the safety and quality standards of the various entities that have a say in the matter. A third-party ISO-certified testing facility can determine this. A neutral manufacturing analyst must oversee the testing.