Design for Manufacturing

by Jon M Quigley

Design for manufacturing provides us with the ability to critique the design as it applies or impacts the manufacturing line. Have you ever wondered why the phrase “hits production” exists? It is because insufficient attention to the integration of the design and the manufacturing often result in trauma at the manufacturing site. Design for Manufacturing is one tool for improving this situation.

Our objective is to design the product in such a way that we minimize the impact upon manufacturing. We essentially want the design to play to the existing manufacturing strengths and capabilities. We know that the design dictates to a large degree the cost to manufacture. Some estimates indicate that 70% of the manufacturing costs originate in design decisions, and only 20% originating in production or manufacturing decisions. This makes this area rife for value optimization.

Like the design for assembly, we integrate the design and development work with the manufacturing endeavors of the project. In this case, our focus is not the assembly process, but the entire manufacturing aspects of the product. To have the greatest impact, we perform this work while the product is under development (thus the integrated).

While the best situation is this exchange between design and manufacturing, value can be obtained even after the product design has been completed and the manufacturing line has been running for some period. However we sacrifice the ability to modify the design while the design is evolving. This means we may have to rework the original design or accept the implications of the design on the manufacturing process, minimizing the area of consideration for value improvement.

For more information please contact Jon M Quigley at (336) 484-1528.

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