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Design for manufacturing (DFM) is a design technique for manufacturing ease of an assortment of parts that would constitute the final product after assembly. Design for manufacturing focuses on minimizing the complexities involved in manufacturing operations as well as reducing the overall part production cost.
The principles involved in design for manufacturing are standardizing of materials and components, minimizing part counts, designing for efficient assembly, simplifying and reducing the number of manufacturing operations and creating modular assemblies. The process in design for manufacturing includes raw material selection and review, secondary processes if any, dimensional and other requirements, and final packaging. Design for manufacturing differs from design for assembly in that design for manufacturing is concerned only with reducing overall part production cost whereas design for assembly is concerned only with reducing product assembly cost.
There are many benefits associated with design for manufacturing. The process helps in identifying potential flaws in the design phase and help to address them there, thereby making the addressing of the issue at the least expensive phase. The process helps in shortening the product development cycle as well reduce material, labor cost and any overhead. It causes improvement in the final product as it focuses on the standards to reduce costs. Products manufactured with design for manufacturing techniques tend to be more reliable and of higher quality. Design for manufacturing helps in reducing the intensity level of all activities related to the product through its entire life.
Computer technology aids designers, engineers and manufacturers in design for manufacturing. The computer technology is mainly
used in estimating and reducing the total number of parts in the
product, aiding in identifying and designing multi-purpose parts,
designing parts to be multi-functional wherever possible, helping in
achieving a modular design, minimizing handling and assembly directions.