Newer and newer, as well as more refined design methods are being implemented to increase the productivity and profitability of manufacturing lines. An excellent example is one of the EMS solutions, namely DfM. From the English acronym, this stands for Design for Manufacturability or Design for Manufacturing. In an accurate translation, it means design for manufacturing. It is primarily used in the OEM companies. What characterises this approach and what advantages it offers?
What is design for manufacturing?
In the simplest terms, DfM means designing parts, taking into account the specifications of the target production process from the very beginning. In this way, materials (also in terms of cost) or the necessary manufacturing processes are taken into account right from the design stage. The role of the engineer is therefore not only to create a part that fulfils its purpose, but also to optimise the design in terms of manufacturing parameters.
Design-by-manufacturing is mainly used by OEMs, i.e. companies that manufacture original parts, which are then sold by another manufacturer. It is an excellent method of collaboration between engineers and the manufacturing plant.
It is worth paying attention to the fact that an experienced EMS will optimise manufacturing before it even begins. The right wealth of knowledge enables the selection of materials, processes and manufacturing machinery, taking into account the capabilities of the OEM in question. The assumptions are then tested and verified in the prepared simulations. This is a complex process, but one that brings tangible benefits. Which ones?
Advantages of using the DfM method
Several main advantages of using design for manufacturing can be distinguished. These include:
- Reduction in lead times. A well-executed design makes it easier to commence manufacturing immediately. The most important manufacturing and technological parameters are often already pre-designed and only need to be improved slightly, adapting them to the actual manufacturing process. This is frequently already done during actual manufacturing.
- Significant reduction in manufacturing costs. The part can be quickly put into manufacture, reducing the costs associated with process implementation. Optimisation in terms of the materials and machinery used also reduces expenses at the initial manufacturing stage.
- Improved product quality and reliability. The optimisation of the manufacturing process also affects the high level of quality of the finished electronic components. From the very beginning, a DfM engineer ensures that the entire components are manufactured in the best feasible way.
- Support from the engineering team of the EMS provider. When deciding on electronics manufacturing services, you can also count on the support of the engineering team. Their presence is already evident during the design of a new product. From the very first, they take care to reduce manufacturing costs as much as possible while maintaining the highest quality of parts.
- Reduction in the number of manufacturing changes at the OEM. By optimising the manufacturing process right from the design stage, the actual manufacturing of the electronics can proceed quickly. Subsequent changes are limited to cosmetic improvements in certain parameters. As a result, the implementation of manufacturing takes place very quickly.
Design for manufacturing enables all parameters to be selected in such a way as to optimise both the components produced and the manufacturing process itself. The resulting design ensures high quality at minimum costs.
Is it worth pursuing design for manufacturing?
The EMS engineer can look at the project developed by the OEM from a completely different angle. The latter will not only take care of the high quality of the end product, but will also ensure that it is both possible and cost-effective to manufacture. By using the services of the DfM at your service provider for contract electronics manufacturing, you can benefit not only financially, but also in terms of time. Optimising manufacturing as early as the design stage, with the help of the tests and simulations carried out, allows manufacturing to be implemented on the appropriate machinery in no time. This significantly reduces the time it takes to select parameters and set up the production line. At the same time, the finished components are characterised by very high quality. It is worth at least once using the services of designing for manufacture, in order to see for yourself how visible the advantages of such an approach are.