Can DfM really cut costs?

FermionX, engineering, factory, electronics, staff, work, people, Worthing, industry , 2018

Bringing new ideas to market rapidly is never easy, but as FermionX explains, the simpler the design process, the less chance that mistakes will cause costs to ramp up.

Let’s say you have a phenomenal new product idea and you know time to market is critical. The simpler you keep the design process, the less chance of mistakes but design isn’t a linear process. Often, the results demand we take some steps backwards, reframe and repeat. Regardless of how many design steps there are, however, it is vital that design for manufacture principles are applied for successful long-term manufacturing.

Designing a product using DFM makes it easier to manufacture repeatably. It focuses on evaluating and identifying potential issues and opportunities in manufacture and addressing these during the design process, avoiding the risk of changes to tools, components or suppliers during the manufacturing stage. During DFM, we consider production processes, materials, tolerances, obsolescence planning and supply chain optimisation. This can reduce build times, associated labour costs and machine time.

Imagine the problems if, after months of work, the design team sign-off but the production team can’t make it for the sell price because the material specified cannot be sourced as required. DFM is key to avoiding these types of costly issues.

Powerful prototyping
DFM is supported by rapid prototyping. Designing with a rapidly sourced prototype can help teams quickly move past the conceptual stage of design and allow them to fully embrace iterative testing.

Rapid prototyping checks functionality whilst allowing design and supply chain reviews. This can highlight long lead or high cost components for identification of alternatives. Similarly, using technology such as 3D printing allows for road-testing of mechanical versions.

A fully testable prototype helps individuals understand your product and tangibly interact with your vision. FermionX has considerable experience in working with customers to ensure their ideas get to market. We can start with design concept, through to rapid prototyping, compliance testing and beta production for product launch. And because we design and make our own products, we understand first-hand the challenges and pitfalls of getting new product designs to market.