From Prototype to Production: Developing an effective design for manufacturing strategy

When moving a prototype to production, there are many factors to consider and the process required to turn an idea into a market-ready product can be complex and multifaceted.

  • Testing demand for the product
  • Creating a BOM (Bill of Materials): aids financial discipline by listing out all the costs associated with a single production unit of the product.
  • Tooling, sampling & non-production release: When the design becomes a physical sample that can consistently be replicated and provides an opportunity to make any needed changes before sending the product to mass production.
  • Ensuring the prototype is of production-quality and fundamentally designed for mass manufacturing: The initial prototype will need tweaking, so ensuring quality and design is necessary. Catching any flaws in this stage will save you time and money since you won’t need to make changes later in the process.
  • Selecting the right Design for Manufacture partner

Why Is DFMA important?

Approximately 70% of manufacturing costs are driven by design decisions, whether it be material and process selection, tolerancing, or oversights in technical documents conveying design intents, the additional 30% is taken up by manufacturing decisions such as fixturing and tooling selection. A graphical view of this can be seen in figure 1


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Figure 1 (Hallmann, 2020)

What is Design for manufacture and assembly (DFMA)?

DFMA (Design for manufacture and assembly) is an engineering methodology that aims to reduce cost whilst maintaining optimal product quality and function. This is achieved by manufacturing and design engineers communicating during the design phase, intent on standardising features across the product and remove unnecessarily tight tolerances or requirement for superfluous manufacturing processes.  

Design ideas to aid Design for Manufacture

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