Is Your Design Manufacturable?
Design for manufacturability (also known as DFM) is the general engineering art of designing products in such a way that they are easy to manufacture. DFM describes the process of designing or engineering a product in order to facilitate the manufacturing process in order to reduce its manufacturing costs.
From the preliminary concept design of the product until the manufacturing, product development engineers take their job step by step: product design, product testing/simulation, design review, product communication deliverable s and Releasing Drawings for manufacturing one after one. Moreover, if one of these steps, (for example, if the design review identifies design flaws) is longer than planned, the entire cycle is longer and then time-to-market increases. This affects the productivity of the company and the ability to deliver the product on time.
It is a fact that 80 % of the product cost comes from the design phase. This means that it is worth spending time and analysis to understand how this process could be optimized and taking manufacturability into consideration. DFM will allow potential problems to be fixed in the design phase which is the least expensive place to address them.
3D CAD software’s like SolidWorks has inbuilt DFM tools which helps designer to predict design flaws in subject to manufacturability. SolidWorks DFM xpress tools guides the designer step by step to rectify their design errors. The below model is checked with SolidWorks DFM xpress which identifies features, checks the appropriate rules for the manufacturing process, and lists Rules Failed and Rules Passed. DFM Xpress displays a message explaining the problem and highlights the problem area in the model.
SolidWorks has the feature to check the basic factors with respect to manufacturability. The DFM Xpress tool inside SolidWorks will guide you to find, whether designed product can be manufactured with respect to following Manufacturing Processes:
Following are few examples of manufacturing Rules:
Advantage and Benefits of DFM
ü Understand manufacturing problems/issues of current/past products
ü Design for easy fabrication, processing, and assembly
ü Adhere to specific process design guidelines
ü Design parts with symmetry.
ü If part symmetry is not possible, make parts very asymmetrical
ü Design for fixturing.
ü Minimizing tool complexity by concurrent design
ü Specify optimal tolerances for a Robust Design
ü Specify quality parts from reliable sources.
ü Minimize Setups / Cutting Tools
ü Understand tolerance step functions and specify tolerances
If product designers had a tool to test their ideas and get meaningful technical insights while they are designing, they could run “what if” scenarios to fuel their innovation and ensure design optimization, and reduce the manufacturing cost.