Design For Manufacturing and assembly – Overviews, Steps, Advantages

What is “DFMA”?

DFM is the practice of designing products keeping manufacturing in mind. “Design for manufacture” means the design for ease of manufacture for the collection of parts that will form the product after assembly. Similarly DFA is called Design for Assembly. DFA is the practice of designing product with assembly in mind. “Design for assembly” means the design of the product for ease of assembly. So design for Manufacture and assembly is the combination of DFM and DFA as shown in Figure

Definition of Design for Manufacture & Assembly (DFMA)
Definition of Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DFMA)

The concept of DFM (Design for Manufacture) is not new, it dates back as early as 1788 when LeBlanc, a Frenchman, devised the concept of inter-changeable parts in the manufacture of muskets which previously were individually handmade.

Steps for applying DFMA during product design

  • The following steps are followed when DFMA used in the design process.
  • DFA analysis lading to simplification of the product structure
  • Early cost estimation of parts for both original design and modified design
  • Selecting best material and process to be used
  • After final selection of material and process carry out a thorough analysis of DFM

Figure depicts the flow diagram of various steps undertaken in a DFMA study using DFMA software.

common steps taken in design for manufacturing and assembly
common steps taken in design for manufacturing and assembly

Advantages of applying DFMA during product Design

Today products are
– Tending to becoming more complex
– Made/required in increasingly large number
– Intended to satisfy a wide variation in user population
– Required to compete aggressively with similar products
– Required to consistently high quality

Through DFMA it is possible to produce competitively priced, high performance product at a minimal cost.

The advantages of applying DFMA during product design are as follows:
• DFMA not only reduces the manufacturing cost of the product but it helps to reduce the time to market and quality of the product.
• DFMA provides a systematic procedure for analyzing a proposed design from the point of view of assembly and manufacture.
• Any reduction in the number of parts reduces the cost as well as the inventory.
• DFMA tools encouraged the dialogue between the designer and manufacturing engineer during the early stages of design.

Reasons for not implementing DFMA

1. No time: Designers are constrained to minimize their “design to manufacture time” for a new product.
2. Not invented here: Very often designers provide enough resistance to adopt new techniques.
3. The ugly baby syndrome: Designer ego crashes if there is some suggestion for design change.
4. Low assembly cost: Since assembly cost of a particular product is less as compared to the total material and manufacturing cost, DFA analysis is not required.
5. Low volume: Often it is expressed that DFMA is applicable for large quantity production.

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