Design for manufacturability (also sometimes known as design for manufacturing)- (DFM) is the general engineering art of designing products in such a way that they are easy to manufacture. The basic idea exists in almost all engineering disciplines, but of course the details differ widely depending on the manufacturing technology. This design practice not only focuses on the design aspect of a part but also on the producibility. In simple language it means relative ease to manufacture a product, part or assembly.
The design stage is very important in product design. Most of the product lifecycle costs are committed at design stage. The product design is not just based on good design but it should be possible to produce by manufacturing as well. Often an otherwise good design is difficult or impossible to produce. Typically a design engineer will create a model or design and send it to manufacturing for review and invite feedback. This process is called as design review. If this process is not followed diligently, the product may fail at manufacturing stage.
If these DFM guidelines are not followed, it will result in iterative design, loss of manufacturing time and overall resulting in longer time to market. Hence many organizations have adopted concept of Design for Manufacturing.
Depending on various types of manufacturing processes there are set guidelines for DFM practices. These DFM guidelines help to precisely define various tolerances, rules and common manufacturing checks related to DFM.
While DFM is applicable to the design process, a similar concept called DFSS (Design for Six Sigma) is also practiced in many organizations.
Here are examples:
- Design for manufacturability for integrated circuits.
- Design for manufacturability for printed circuit boards .
- Design for manufacturability for CNC machined parts.