Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DFMA)

Design for manufacturing and assembly (DFMA) is the practice of designing a machine, product or item such that it is easy to manufacture and assemble and produces a cost benefit. The objective of practicing DFMA is to design in such a way that unnecessary costs are avoided at the production stage.

At PEKO, our engineers consistently work on several different aspects of DFMA for a variety of our new product introduction and contract manufacturing projects. Some common DFMA techniques and methods we leverage are combining assemblies into single parts, designing asymmetrical (one way) assembly features and reducing hardware. Our DFMA customers benefit from optimized designs, reduced costs, improved efficiencies, and long-term success of their program.

The design for manufacturing and assembly process encompasses to two important aspects of the product design and development phase, design for manufacturing (DFM) and design for assembly (DFA).

Design for Manufacturing Capabilities (DFM)

Design for manufacturing (DFM) is concerned with the production of parts and low level assemblies that will be later integrated at the final assembly phase and typically takes place after the functionality of the new product design has been proven. The design for manufacture process involves identifying and evaluating any opportunities to eliminate or combine parts of your design and steps in the new product introduction process.

  • Reducing or eliminating hardware counts
  • Replacing unnecessary manufacturing processes
  • Reviewing potential volume cases
  • Focusing critical-to-function design features into a single component
  • Implementing self-locating or fixturing components
  • Replacing unnecessary custom parts with COTs
  • Eliminating over-specified design tolerances

Design for Assembly Capabilities (DFA)

The results of our value engineering efforts directly impact in-house production and assembly teams. Therefore, we have a direct and intimate understanding of the long-term effects that could result if design for assembly (DFA) is not taken into account in the DFMA process. 

Key aspects we take into consideration when it comes to assembly impacts include:

  • Reducing the amount of hardware necessary for assembly
  • Standardizing hardware across the entire machine or sub-assembly
  • Ensuring proper clearance and access points are stated
  • Designing poka-yoke features into components
  • Developing the sub-assemblies and print packages to properly support the build sequence
  • Integrating quality into the assembly line
  • Developing accurate and detailed work instruction documents
  • Designing fixtures, tools, and templates for repeatability

With our long history in the manufacturing industry, PEKO leverages those many years of experience to improve a program’s assembly process. Even while we are involved in the prototype builds of units, we closely observe assembly features that can further improve efficiency.