East West Manufacturing Blog

What is Design for Manufacturing or DFM?

Written by Jennifer Catalan | October 25, 2016

Design for Manufacturing (DFM) is the method of design for ease of manufacturing of the assortment of parts that will form the product after assembly. DFM is primarily concerned with reducing overall part production cost and minimizing the complexity of manufacturing operations.

The goal of the DFM process is designing or engineering a product so that it is easy to manufacture at the lowest possible price. To do that, the process needs to include of all processes — from review of the raw material selection, to the secondary processes (finishing, plating), dimensional requirements and even final packaging. It’s the technical version of the “What if” and “Why did you choose…” game!
Download Our FREE Guide: Five Things to Look for in a DFM Partner

DFM boils down to two major questions:

What needs to be added? What needs to be removed?

Design for Manufacturing Aims to:

  1. Reduce material, overhead and labor cost
  2. Shorten the product development cycle
  3. Focus on standards to reduce cost

Key Principles in the DFM Process:

  • Minimize part count
  • Standardize parts and materials
  • Create modular assemblies
  • Design for efficient joining
  • Minimize re-orientation of parts during assembly and/or machining
  • Simplify and reduce the number of manufacturing operations
  • Specify ‘acceptable’ surface finishes for functionality

Did you know that 80 percent of product development is tied up in early stage design? Eighty percent! Don't you want to make sure you're investing that 80 percent in techniques that will produce the best possible product for your customers? Selecting a contract manufacturer with extensive DFM experience is one way to make that goal a reality. 

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