When designing a new product, you might get caught up in the excitement of the possibilities of the success of the product, so much so that using the Six Sigma template for Design for Manufacturing (DFM) might not have caught your eye.
Yet, it should be the very first place you go before you start this journey. There are many inventors and entrepreneurs on sites such as Indiegogo who had their great ideas go south due to lack of diligence. Maybe if they had used the methodologies of DFM, they could have had a better result.
So in the spirit of helping others, we thought that a review of some basic rules of DFM is necessary.
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The Rules for Design for Manufacturing (DFM)
- Make sure your product uses components. Components can easily be taken apart for inspection, or to assemble. If you happen to have an “after-thought” the components make it easy to redesign.
- Use standardized components if possible, do not custom make the components, as it is expensive to replace. Standardized components are easy to replace and relatively inexpensive compared to the custom-made alternative.
- Less is more. Keep the number of parts to your product down to a minimum; this will keep the manufacturing costs down and the process easier.
- If the parts can be multi-functional, this too will keep costs down.
- Use high-quality parts that include compliance built-in so as not to cause damage to the part or equipment.
- Multi-use makes it easier to make several different products with different uses when they share the same components.
- Keep assembly directions going in one direction if it is possible. Take it from the top, the easiest direction to assemble is from above.
Keep it simple when designing a product, from the directions to its use. Your customers will thank you for it.