Design for manufacturing and assembly (DFMA) services for your company

We help companies find vetted DFMA product designers for confidential help on demand

Find an expert DFMA service for your product design

Have you come up with an excellent product idea? Congratulations! You may have thought about how to market it, the budget for production, and even how to present the idea to your stakeholders. The beginning phase of excitement and creation is an important one. However, before you make any formal arrangements, you have to get into the weeds and the details of production.

You may have an idea that is right for your audience. Nevertheless, it may not be engineered in a way that is easy for manufacturing and assembly. This reason is why design for manufacturing and assembly (DFMA) is a useful practice for developing and building products. Some may use the manufacturing and assembly concepts interchangeably, but they are distinct. 

Design for manufacturing focuses on the creation of parts, and design for assembly highlights the assembling of the components during the production process. Putting these topics together allows you to address both pivotal elements of the production cycle. 

The last thing you want for your product is for it to make it to the production floor and for those helping to put it together to have difficulty in producing it. If your product is not built for machines, then you are facing an uphill battle. The way to avoid this problem is to make DFMA a priority. DFMA allows you to reduce costs and optimize the time spent taking your product from ideation to completion. If this sounds overwhelming, you have come to the right place. 

You do not have to handle the process of DFMA on your own. For almost a decade, the team at Cad Crowd has helped entrepreneurs like yourself find experienced designers who can help them add DFMA to the production process. If you require a product design service and want to know about why DFMA should be a priority, we invite you to keep reading below. 

Why DFMA is necessary for your company 

Years ago, the production floor and your company would have likely been in the same place. You would have been able to see what was going on and step in to help resolve any issues regarding your product. Today, things are different. More companies are outsourcing their manufacturing and assembly processes. 

Also, many innovative companies have emerged to handle production efficiently and at a reduced cost. As a result, another state, country, or even continent could be the production site. This situation is one of the primary reasons DFMA should be a priority for your company. The logistics, time, and costs involved in getting your product set up for production—likely thousands of miles away—can be wasted if your product is not made for the unique site of production. 

Another factor that is making DFMA a requirement is customer demand and expectations. Today, customers are expecting higher levels of customization and responsiveness than they ever have before. This scenario means that your product needs to fulfill their needs while also arriving in a timely fashion. Did you know that 73.6 percent of consumers reported that delivery is most important to the overall shopping experience? 

When you fail to make DFMA a significant component of your production cycle, you are running the risk of experiencing shipping and production delays due to your product not being able to go through assembly efficiently. A part could have gotten caught in a machine due to an incorrect measurement. Also, there may be too many variations of the product for the factory to handle. DFMA allows you to plan not only for the product itself but also for the factory at the production site. 

Lastly, DFMA is essential to having a reliable and well-created supply chain. Creating products with DFMA in mind allows you to streamline steps involved in your supply chain process. According to the Logistics Bureau, businesses with optimal supply chains have 15 percent lower costs than those not focused on optimization. 

DFMA is a form of optimization, and the very nature of what it is makes your production and corresponding supply chain effective. When you reduce costs during the supply chain, you increase your margins. DFMA can help decrease the resources needed, and enable you to minimize the hiccups that could occur and negatively impact your production and supply chains.  

There are many benefits associated with making DFMA a part of your production strategy. Nevertheless, the first step in beginning the process is hiring a designer experienced in engineering, manufacturing, and design. 

It may seem daunting to have to add another thing to your plate. However, recruiting a capable designer can ensure that this process is one you do not have to add to your list of to-dos. At Cad Crowd, we have three main ways that we use to help match CAD designers with entrepreneurs. For a more in-depth look into how we do this, and how it can benefit your company, take a look at our How it Works page. 

How DFMA can lower production costs 

DFMA can lower your expenses while still enabling you to create high-quality products that meet the demands of your customers. Again, you may have an excellent idea for a product. However, a product is only as good as its engineering. For your product to have the functionality you envision, you need to start with a design that makes the manufacturing and assembly process straightforward. 

So, here are some ways DFMA can benefit your bottom line and help you decrease costs so you can increase margins: 

  • Reduce the total number of parts: You may not need all the components that you think you do. A designer who has DFMA in mind can look at your design and decrease the number of parts involved for an easier and affordable assembly. 
  • Decrease manufacturing operations: How many machines does this product have to go through? Are there unnecessary steps during the assembly process? A 3D modeling designer with a background in engineering can start with the actual design and edit it, so it goes through the parts of the production process that are necessary. 
  • The removal of special tools: Those production costs can significantly rise when special tools or equipment are needed to finish your design. An experienced designer who understands your product can reconfigure it so you will not need special tooling or new processes that could cost you extra money. 
  • Reduce the learning curve: The more advanced your manufacturing process is, the more likely it is that you will need laborers who have extensive training. Additional training may even be required. Both of these scenarios will cause a drain on your bottom line. You want a production process that is simple enough for anyone in the industry to operate, regardless of their skill level. You also don't want to have to spend time on extra training or guiding them through an advanced learning curve. The goal is to keep everything as simple as possible. 
  • Do away with easily-breakable parts: You want quality parts and components. This step means that any part of your design that requires fragile parts should be done away with. If not, you will need to stop production for repairs—which costs you money and time. The right designer can look at your design idea and determine components to cut that could be too fragile and hold up the assembly and production process. 
  • Reduce required packaging: Your product is not the only thing going through the assembly. You will also have to develop packaging for the product to be shipped in. While you want the packaging to represent your brand correctly, you also want it to be functional and ensure your product gets to the customer without wear and tear. Also, how will your product be packaged? How does this play a part in the assembly process? A savvy designer can envision this part of the process and add ease where necessary. 
  • Most cost savings happen at the design stage: Seventy to 80 percent of cost-saving opportunities happen at the design stage, and it makes absolute sense as to why. Think of your design as an outline. Outlines enable you to plan out your approach to a piece of writing or an idea. As you go through the framework, you can scrutinize your thinking and cut out what isn't necessary. The same goes for the process of DFMA. Before you begin to put any work into the actual production, DFMA allows you to "outline" your product and "edit" for efficiency. 

These are just a few of the ways DFMA can lower your production cost and free up your time. These topics may seem like they will amount to many steps, but an experienced mechanical engineering service will do what they can to ensure you are saving as much money and resources as possible with your design. So, whether you are establishing a concept or feel you are ready to go to production, it is always a great idea to allow a designer to simplify your design. 

We can get you started with the first step. Our team has helped countless other entrepreneurs find talented and experienced designers who have helped them optimize their production cycles. Preparing for DFMA doesn't have to be a complicated process. You can begin working with a designer who makes the reduction of your manufacturing and assembly costs through design, their priority. 

The difference between DFA and DFM

To genuinely understand the value of DFMA, it helps to look at the significance of both DFA and DFM separately. Understanding the value that each practice brings to the overall concept is essential to seeing DFMA as a priority. 

Design for Assembly: This practice is solely concerned with reducing the cost of product assembly. It is used to help design teams develop products that can go through production at a lower cost. The ultimate goal is to make the assembly process less sophisticated. So, for the DFA part of DFMA, the objective is to minimize assembly operations and focus on creating ease with the number and types of components used. 

In practice, this looks like: 

  • Use parts that are from the same material and can move without depending on the other. 
  • Include symmetrical components so that they can fit into any machine. 
  • Incorporate fasteners that snap together during the assembly process (and reducing their use altogether). 
  • Make a modular design a part of the process. 
  • Assemble parts in one direction. 
  • Add parts vertically, using the help of gravity to set them into place. 
  • Ensure that all components are self-locating, instead of having laborers manually set parts for assembly. 

Design for Manufacturing: Here, the goal of a designer is to take down the cost of producing the actual parts used in the manufacturing process. Much like assembly, the objective is also to reduce the number of manufacturing operations and use standard components that are easy and cost-effective to produce.

What this looks like in practice: 

  • Use the best processes to complement the selected parts. 
  • Include parts that combine affordability and functionality. 
  • Use a tolerance that works with the majority of the parts. 
  • Reduce the total number of parts.
  • Produce or acquire standard parts that can be used for a variety of other products or services. 
  • Ensure that components have more than one function. 

Both concepts are integral to production efficiency and cost savings. Together, they should enable you to lower the product development cycle time and reduce your overall production costs. When you work with a designer, the sequence of how both will play out is as follows: 

Develop the concept ->Design for assembly ->Selection of materials->Design for manufacturing->Flesh out the final design

Your concept will lead to the management of how parts will be put together. From there, you have an idea of the types of components that need to be developed to help move the product through the assembly process. It makes sense, as before the physical work on the parts begins, you have to have an understanding of the factory where the assembly takes place. These two ideas make DFMA a complete and single methodology that allows you to plan for the entirety of the production process. 

The benefits of outsourcing your DFMA services 

It isn't challenging to see that DFMA requires a keen and talented eye for assembly and manufacturing strategy. In this case, the design is not only used as a means to convey aesthetics. Its primary purpose is to help your bottom line and prevent costly production inefficiencies. Again, 70 to 80 percent of the cost savings happen during the design stage. This scenario makes the process of finding the right designer for the job essential to the success of your DFMA project. 

Deciding to outsource your DFMA services is an even better idea for you and our team. Outsourcing brings additional cost-savings, talent, and support to your project. 

Here are a few specific benefits to outsourcing your DFMA services: 

Keep up with the competition: More than one-third of businesses outsource, and in 2019, it was projected that 52 percent of companies would start. It is likely that if your competitors aren't already doing it, they are thinking about it. Outsourcing gives you a competitive advantage that puts you on the same playing field as your peers. 

It reduces your costs: A 2016 Deloitte survey of businesses who outsourced found that 59 percent of these respondents chose to outsource to reduce their costs. Outsourcing your services enables you to only pay for the work done. As a result, you typically don't have to add yearly salaries or other high hiring costs to your budget. 

Frees up your team: Again, referencing the survey, the second reason businesses choose to outsource is the ability to focus on core functions (57 percent). A task as big as DFMA needs to have its own set of eyes on it. However, your team also has its own projects to manage. Outsourcing gives you and your team the chance to focus on things that only you can do. 

Satisfy your customers: Since you have someone dedicated to ensuring the DFMA process is running smoothly, you can also benefit from the aspects that improve customer service. For example, having an outsourced freelancer handle DFMA makes it much more likely that products will go through the manufacturing process efficiently. This situation allows for reduced shipping time, higher-quality products, and higher response times. 

Gain access to exceptional talent: If you hired an outsourced individual full-time, the hiring costs, along with the salary, would likely create a massive drain on your budget. Fortunately, because of platforms like Cad Crowd, it is easy to find excellent talent at an affordable price. Again, you are only paying for the work you need, whether paying by the hour or project. 

Get an outside opinion: Even the best companies have a culture that may make it challenging for new ideas to flow through. Outsourcing is a great way to fix this. You have access to a talented individual who can offer a unique perspective that could be an asset to your company. This person is someone who may have similarly worked with other organizations and can give a nuanced opinion on how they can help. 

Bypass a lengthy hiring process: Who has the time to wade through hundreds of resumes and conduct multiple interviews? The hiring process takes a lot of patience, dedication, and time. We want to help lighten the load. The Cad Crowd platform makes it easy to find the freelance talent you need for your next DFMA process. Whether you would like to receive multiple bids for a project or need a confidential quote, our team can help you find the design support you need. 

We want each entrepreneur we work with to realize the benefits above. We want to help your bottom line while also reducing the amount of work and costs associated with DFMA. Our team understands that finding the right designer for the job is essential. 

We have helped the likes of PepsiCo, Tiffany and Co., Yale University, and countless others find designers for their projects. We believe that design should help to align with and further your business goals, and DFMA is an excellent practice for accomplishing this. 

Regardless of where you are in the DFMA or production process, we are more than ready to help you move forward toward a successful production. 

Here are three ways you can begin to work with us

If you are in need of related or additional DFMA services, feel free to check out our Services page. We have designers who specialize in manufacturing, architectural, and CAD design. So, see how else we can help support your next design project. 

Check out our How it Works page if you haven't already. There, we detailed the ways we can help you find a designer who is the right fit for your DFMA project. 

Lastly, if you are ready to begin the process and would like our team to take a look at your project plans, we invite you to reach out to us for a free quote

Cad Crowd's professional 3D modeling services are at your disposal

At Cad Crowd, we have the privilege of working with some of the best freelancers in the world. Our team consists of qualified CAD design services, 3D rendering companies, and even product design experts. If you're in need of any assistance, get in touch with us for a free quote today.

Brands we've worked with

Tupperware
Yale University School of Medicine
Tiffany & Co.
CNOOC Limited
The Boston Consulting Group

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