In the world of early stage machinery and capital equipment manufacturing, we concern ourselves with many interdependent questions regarding functionality and cost.  Proving the concept and creating a functional prototype are only part of the battle.  Once some semblance of a working machine is complete, we need to know how to launch into production while keeping costs and cycle times in line.  Now more than ever, we are hearing new product launch teams appreciate the application of Design For Manufacturing and Assembly, or DFMA techniques.  But what is DFMA?    From PEKO’s perspective, Design for Manufacturing and Assembly is the practice of designing a machine, product or item such that it is easy to manufacture and assemble and produces a cost benefit.  Let’s take a look at what some of our peers had to say on the matter

  • “Design for Manufacturing or Design for Manufacturability (DFM) is the optimization of a part, product, or component’s design, to create it cheaper and more easily.” – TWI
  • “DFMA is a combination of two methodologies, Design for Manufacturing (DFM) and Design for Assembly (DFA). This combination enables a product design to be efficiently manufactured and easily assembled with minimum labor cost.” – Quality One International

No matter which industry expert you ask, the theme is clear.  Design For Manufacturing and Assembly aims to design in such a way that unnecessary costs are avoided at the production stage.  Some common methods are combining assemblies into single parts, designing asymmetrical (one way) assembly features and reducing hardware.

DFMA for Medical machine

MRI machine before after DFMA

Now that you’ve heard from some of the experts, we did a little homework for you.  We’ve put together a list of classes and resources that are available for you to learn how to do DFMA yourself or with your entire product team.

  1. Boothroyd Dewhurst DFMA® Short Course: Concurrent Engineering using Design for Manufacture and Assembly
    Course highlights from the company: The DFMA® Short Course is an application-based training workshop developed for design and manufacturing engineers, cost estimators, commodity managers, and key stakeholders interested in the design & production of high value products. The goal of the DFMA® Short Course is to learn how proper consideration of part manufacturing and assembly early in the product concept stage considerably improves the overall economics and efficiency of the value stream.”
    Price: $795 or $695 for 3 or more employees of same company
    Duration: 2 days
    More info: https://www.dfma.com/services/scourse.asp
  2. Fictiv DFM for CNC Machining class.
    Course Highlights from the company: “In this three-part engineering master class series, Fictiv manufacturing engineers and experienced mechanical product design experts will teach you how to minimize the challenges of CNC machining and design parts that are cheaper, faster, and less risky to produce.”
    More info: https://www.fictiv.com/masterclass/dfm-for-cnc-masterclass
  3. SAE (society of automotive engineers) Design for Manufacturing & Assembly (DFM/DFA)
    Course Highlights from the company: “Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DFM+A), pioneered by Boothroyd and Dewhurst, has been used by many companies around the world to develop creative product designs that use optimal manufacturing and assembly processes. Correctly applied, DFM+A analysis leads to significant reductions in production cost, without compromising product time-to-market goals, functionality, quality, serviceability, or other attributes. In this two-day seminar, you will not only learn the Boothroyd Dewhurst Method, you will actually apply it to your own product design!”
    Price: $1,595
    Duration: 13 hours over 4 virtual sessions
    More info: https://www.sae.org/learn/content/92047/

These trusted sources will help springboard your employees with DFMA courses, examples of Design for Manufacturability and Assembly and even provide case studies for DFMA.  Of course, if you’re better off trusting the job in the hands of an experiences professional, check out our NPI group which performs these techniques every day for new product launches.