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Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DFM&A)

What is design for manufacturing and assembly?

Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DFM&A) is a product development methodology focused on accelerating/streamlining manufacturing and assembly processes by simplifying the overall product design.

This engineering methodology focuses on reducing product complexity by minimizing the number of parts, standardizing components, and optimizing design for more efficient assembly. Manufacturers use DFM&A principles to identify, quantify, and eliminate waste or product design inefficiency that causes longer (and more costly) production and assembly times.

What are the benefits of DFMA/DFM&A?

  1. Reduce the product part count to minimize assembly operations and potential points of failure.
  2. Standardize components to reduce training required for assembly and to achieve economies of scale for part/component procurement.
  3. Address assembly throughout the product design process, which often includes techniques to simplify the alignment or connection of separate parts or components.
  4. Lower manufacturing and assembly costs through design optimizations.
  5. Improve product quality and reliability by streamlining the production and assembly process.

How is DFMA related to “design for manufacturing” (DFM)?

DFM&A is a subset of the broader design for manufacturing (DFM) concept, which encompasses all aspects of product design optimization. DFM helps product design teams make design decisions early in the development process to address a range of issues — including the selection of raw materials, tolerances, and other specifications

Companies that don’t follow a DFM approach risk can discover quality control issues during a late design stage, which can delay time to market and increase production costs. Selecting the most appropriate manufacturing operations/process is also essential to producing cost-effective, quality products without delaying time to market.

DFM (also known as Design for X), can focus on emphasizing design engineering to address attributes including:

  • Design to cost (DTC)/Design for cost (DFC)
  • Design for sustainability (DFS)/ecodesign
  • Design for serviceability/maintenance (DFS)
  • Design for usability (DFU)

Digital transformation in manufacturing is providing product design teams with the insights to optimize new products for multiple attributes simultaneously (e.g., cost, DFM, and sustainability).

How are Manufacturers Using DFM&A?

Learn how AGCO streamlines manufacturability analysis with aPriori

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