The last few decades have brought manufacturing companies several new challenges. Technology and improved freight transport have allowed companies to source parts worldwide. It also resulted in more producers entering the market. To maintain sales results and regain growth, many manufacturers constantly develop new products to expand their customer base. Increasingly, companies are also aware of the importance of the DFM process, which enables the development of high-quality products in a shorter time with lower production costs.
In the context of the production process, the role of DFM (Design for Manufacturability or Design for Manufacturing) is essential. Indeed, it enables companies to obtain higher production quality while reducing costs in many cases. There is no doubt that high quality and low production costs usually result in more excellent sales and greater customer loyalty. So let’s look at what this approach is about in the production process.
Design for Manufacturing – definition
Process design for Manufacturing (DFM) is a part design technique that considers the specification of the entire manufacturing process during which the components are manufactured. The goal of DFM is to minimize the complexity associated with manufacturing operations and reduce the total cost of manufacturing parts. All necessary materials are selected at the design stage in this model, and individual production processes are developed. Appropriate materials are chosen based on the price. For this purpose, the engineer responsible for producing the element is accountable for selecting parameters to optimize the entire product production.
The basic principles used in design for production are:
- Standardization of materials and components
- Minimizing the number of parts
- Design for efficient assembly
- Simplification and reduction of the number of production operations
- Creating teams
The process from design to production includes selecting and reviewing raw materials, secondary methods as applicable, dimensional and other requirements, and final packaging. Design for Manufacturing differs from Design for Assembly (DFA) in that DFM is about reducing the total cost of producing a part, while DFA is about lowering the number of elements in the product.
Design designers must submit to electrical constraints such as voltages and currents, energy consumption, and temperature management during the design phase. However, other factors come into play in the real world, such as the accuracy or tolerance of Best PCB manufacturing machines and the characteristics of the materials used. DFM is precisely the process of organizing a PCB layout to make sure it can be manufactured.
Design for Manufacturing implementation – benefits
Design for Manufacturing plays a vital role in electronics manufacturing services, for a good reason. The benefits of adopting such an approach are significant and noticeable not only by the customer. Thanks to the use of DFM, the EMS supplier can offer a more comprehensive service to his customers and support them during the entire product development process, from the preparation of the concept and design to the product launch and start of sale. However, DFM has several other advantages.
EARLY TRACEABILITY OF DEFECTS
Design for Manufacturing helps you identify potential defects in the design phase and fix them. At the design stage, engineers have access to tools to analyze individual components on the PCB. That allows them to spot errors that might be difficult to identify. Designing for Manufacturing will enable them to be avoided or minimized as much as possible. Thus, the risk of introducing later, very costly changes is minimized. Thanks to this, DFM makes a real contribution to reducing production costs.
SHORTEN THE PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT CYCLE
This process helps shorten the product development cycle and therefore speeds time-to-market. In addition, the use of DFM guarantees that the product will be designed most optimally for the entire production process. Thus, it effectively reduces the need to introduce corrections during production and makes the product ready for sale faster.
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HIGH QUALITY OF THE END PRODUCT
DFM Improves the end product as it focuses on standards to reduce costs. Products using manufacturing techniques are designed to be more reliable and higher quality. By devoting more time to the design phase, you can plan the production of your product in a way that maximizes its durability throughout its service life.
SUPPORT OF THE EMS SUPPLIER’S ENGINEERING TEAM AT THE PRODUCT DESIGN STAGE
When deciding on electronics production services, the client receives the support of a team of engineers already from designing the product. Therefore, they can redesign it in such a way as to optimize production costs as much as possible. They are also making the necessary engineering changes. In this case, extensive test systems are helpful, which allow you to fine-tune the element before implementing it into production. Two sides benefit from this – both financially and in terms of time.
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DFM in PCB assembly
In conclusion, a good DFM analysis allows the presentation of the essential electrical services in the project and a satisfactory production without risk, unforeseen costs, and delays, even for large volumes. Clients of PCB assembly companies rarely have a complete design of a product that is fully ready for production. A professional supplier with experience in DFM will review the plan and provide detailed feedback. EMS can help you and your design team improve product performance and reliability while controlling costs by being involved early in the product design process.
While there are many ways to reduce costs in the manufacturing process, the Design for Manufacturing can effectively prevent unexpected expenses while optimizing overall production. As PCB production is divided into several steps, it is vital to ensure on each of them that the board is not affected by any DFM issues that could cause severe problems.
Technology plays a crucial role in many aspects of our lives. Smartphones, smartwatches, home appliances, and connected cars use innovative technology and connectivity. The production of these types of products requires the use of printed circuit boards of increasing complexity, with the need to produce them at the lowest cost, in the shortest possible time, and with a high level of quality. It is possible thanks to DFM.
Here you can find more information about PCB manufacturing: https://asselems.com/en/pcb-assembly
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