Solve for Manufacturability and Cost Drivers Early in the Development Process
What is Design for Manufacturing?
Design for Manufacturing or DFM is the process by which product design engineers tailor their designs to meet two critical metrics:
Optimizing the design so that it can be easily manufactured. This includes solving for material selection, specialized tooling required, machine capabilities, and feasibility rules. Design for manufacturing requires the design engineer to have a keen understanding of the manufacturing process and factory capabilities. However, many companies are turning to the use of digital factory software to automate and streamline DFM.
Probably the single most important metric for designers is ensuring each product is designed to cost (DTC). An enormous amount of factors can contribute to how much a particular product design will cost. A rounded corner instead of a sharp edge could save your company thousands. But a keen understanding of manufacturing feasibility, as well as global sourcing options, material selection, and machine capabilities is critical to design to cost. That’s why many companies use CAD model heat mapping software for real-time DTC suggestions.
Who Should Care About Design for Manufacturing?
What Are the Goals of Design for Manufacturing?
Bring innovative products to market faster by reducing the back-and-forth required to design products right the first time.
Lower your production costs by solving for manufacturability and cost drivers early in the development process.
Identify manufacturability issues and mistakes before they leave design which can dramatically shorten production times.
Improve your relationship with your suppliers by understanding key product cost drivers, manufacturing feasibility, and having meaningful fact-based negotiations.
Design for Manufacturing Can Be Fast and Easy
Traditional methods of DFM relied heavily on senior designers to share their expertise and multiple back-and-forth exchanges between design engineers and cost engineers. In many cases, design for manufacturing issues aren’t identified until very late in the product development process.
Not only does DFM streamline your internal processes, but relationships with your quoting team and suppliers can improve when you bring forward optimized products from the start.
Using Digital Manufacturing Simulation Software for DFM
After specifying a few basic inputs such as production volume, manufacturing process, and manufacturing location, aPriori can generate manufacturability and cost estimates in seconds.
In addition to running fast manufacturing simulations, the output of the analysis should be easy to interpret. Identification of manufacturability issues should be highly graphical and pinpoint areas for improvement, such as machining operations where the cycle time is abnormally high. Identifying a design flaw like this could dramatically accelerate the manufacturing process and accordingly drive down cost.
Say goodbye to relying on your team to be experts in every part of the production process. The future of manufacturing is digital.