DFMA – Design for Manufacturing and Assembly

diseño para la fabricación y montaje

The application of DFMA is essential today, especially as companies are always looking for ways to reduce costs, improve efficiency and, of course, improve product quality.

In this sense, this technique is incredibly beneficial, as it is used to facilitate the manufacturing and assembly process of products. No matter what stage of development it is in, it can be applied at each stage. From the development of the idea to its manufacture.

In short, with DFMA, obstacles that hinder the creation of the product can be identified and eliminated.

What is DFMA?

DFMA (Design for Manufacturing and Assembly) is a set of methodologies created with the purpose of “challenging” the design. Thanks to these tools, the complete design process can be studied systematically to ensure its optimization and prevent unnecessary future costs.

This industrial design method originated in 1983 and was created by Drs. Boothroyd and Dewhurst. With the advent of DFMA, many companies in sectors such as IT, furniture, agricultural machinery and automotive were able to save large sums of money in manufacturing, assembly and maintenance of their products.

The reason for this is that it is much easier to make changes at the beginning of the design process, regardless of whether it is a new product or an existing one. Now, DFMA is governed by the following rules:

  • ·       The design must be as simple as possible, which eliminates unnecessary features.
  • ·       Use standard materials and processes to make the development and assembly of the device simpler.
  • ·       Minimize the number of parts so that the manufacturing cost is lower.
  • ·       Make the product easy to assemble and thus reduce the need to use specialized tools for this.

In fact, modular assembly is quite attractive for DFMA, since in this case it is possible to transform a product without losing its overall function. In other words, the less custom-made parts have to be developed, the more time will be available to focus on other specific product problems.

Benefits of Design for Manufacturing and Assembly

Now, for the application of DFMA, it is important to analyze some principles, which provide the following benefits. The first point to analyze is the product’s process and life cycle.

Here, the appropriate manufacturing process for the product must be chosen and its life cycle must be foreseen. In this sense, DFMA helps to understand all the manufacturing phases to correctly estimate its final cost, that is, the one that is closest to reality (the management cost chain is analyzed).

Also, DFMA favors team organization, as it improves communication between design, manufacturing, purchasing, etc. departments. This increases creativity and knowledge about the product, which results in a decrease in costs.

On the other hand, with DFMA, the product architecture is investigated. In other words, its functions and possibilities are studied, which is very important because it must be known if the product can withstand the environment.

Finally, the design and development is studied. This means that, to achieve advanced product development, it is necessary to have knowledge of innovative manufacturing technologies, materials, product parameters such as tolerances, and future users or customers. By applying DFMA, all this data is obtained, which is essential for choosing the right option.

It is clear that the application of DFMA is very beneficial when designing and manufacturing a product. For example, it can be made so that the correct orientation of a part is obvious, so as to waste less time in the assembly process. This is fixed by making a small notch in the part to indicate the correct way to place it.

The important thing in the end is to consider the design process as a whole and, in this way, develop a product that meets all the stages we have mentioned. There is no ideal design plan, so the most advisable thing is to opt for an integrated approach.

Of course, the reduction in costs and development time will always be the goal of any company, so applying DFMA is a good solution to achieve this, without forgetting the needs of the user.

At Walter Pack, we follow a strict methodology in the development of our products, to ensure that we provide our customers with high-quality parts in the shortest possible time. If you are interested in our services, contact us to find out how we can help you.