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 John W. Hidahl 
Design for manufacture and assembly (DFMA) and design for Six Sigma (DFSS)are complementary approaches to achieving a superior product line that maximizesquality while minimizing cost and cycle time in a manufacturing environment.DFMA is a methodology that stresses evolving a design concept to its absolutesimplest configuration. It embodies ten simple rules, which can have an incredibleimpact on minimizing design complexity and maximizing the use of cost-effectivestandards. DFSS applies a statistical approach to achieving nearly defect-free prod-ucts. It uses a scorecard format to quantify the parts, process, performance, andsoftware (if applicable) capabilities or sigma level. It facilitates the effective designof a product by aiding the selection of (1) suppliers (parts), (2) manufacturing andassembly processes (process), (3) a system architecture and design (performance),and (4) a software process (software) that minimizes defects and thus produces ahigh-quality product in a short cycle time.
The DFMA methodology consists of six basic considerations and ten related rules,as shown in Table 4.1. DFMA is intended to increase the awareness of the engineering design staff tothe need for concurrent product and process development. Several studies haveproven that the design process is where approximately 80% of a product
s total costsare determined. Stated differently, the cost of making changes to a product as itprogresses through the product development process increases by orders of magni-tude at various stages. For instance, if the cost of making a change to a productduring its conceptual design phase is $1000, then the cost of making the same changeafter the drawings are released and the initial prototype is fabricated is approximately$10,000. If this same change is not applied until the production run has started, thecost impact will be approximately $100,000. If the need for the design change isnot recognized until after the product has been purchased by the consumer ordelivered to the end user, the total cost for the change will be approximately 1000times as great as if it had been implemented during the conceptual design review.In addition to driving product cost, design is also a major driver of product quality,reliability, and time to market. In today
s marketplace, customers are seeking thebest value for their investment, and the most effective way to incorporate maximumvalue into a product
s design disclosure is through the use of DFMA.
© 2002 by CRC Press LLC
The Manufacturing Handbook of Best Practices
Simplicity is the
rst design consideration, and it bridges the
ve DFMAcommandments, namely, (1) minimize the number of parts, (2) minimize the use of fasteners, (3) minimize reorientations, (4) use multifunctional parts, and (5) usemodular assemblies. There are several approaches that can be used to minimize thepart count in a design, and speci
c workbook and software techniques have beendeveloped on this, but the driving principles revolve around three questions: (1)Does the part move? (2) Does the part have to be made from a different materialthan the other parts? and (3) Is the part required for assembly or disassembly? If the answer to all three is no, then that part
s function can be combined with anotherexisting part. Using this approach progressively, existing assemblies that were notbased upon DFMA principles can often be redesigned to eliminate 50% or more of their existing parts count. Reduced part counts yield (1) higher reliability; (2) lowercon
guration management, manufacturing, assembly, and inventory costs; (3) feweropportunities for defects; and (4) reduced cycle times. Minimizing the use of fas-teners has several obvious advantages, and yet it is the most frequently disregardedprinciple of DFMA. Excessive fasteners in a design are often the result of engineeringdesign uncertainty, and are often justi
ed as offering
exibility, adjustment, quick component replacement, or modularity. The reality is that excessive fastenersincrease the cost of assembly, increase inventory costs, reduce automation opportu-nities, reduce product reliability, and contribute to employee health risks such as
TABLE 4.1DFMA Considerations and Commandments
1.Simplicity2.Standard materials and components3.Standardized design of the product itself 4.Specify tolerances based on process capability5.Use of the materials most processed6.Collaboration with manufacturing personnel
The Ten Commandments
1.Minimize the number of parts2.Minimize the use of fasteners3.Minimize reorientations4.Use multifunctional parts5.Use modular subassemblies6.Standardize7.Avoid di
cult components8.Use self-locating features9.Avoid special tooling10.Provide accessibility
© 2002 by CRC Press LLC
carpal tunnel syndrome. Prototype designs may require additional fasteners andinterfaces to test various design or component options, but the production design shouldbe stripped of any excessive fasteners. The
s approach as used commonly inroot cause analysis is recommended for testing the minimal requirements for fasteners.Unless one of the sequential answers to,
do we need this fastener?
can betraced directly to a stated operational requirement, the fastener(s) should be elimi-nated from the production design disclosure. With respect to minimizing reorienta-tions during assembly, the guiding principles are to create a design that can be easilyassembled (with a minimum amount of special tooling) and to always use gravityto aid you in assembly. Minimizing the number of fasteners will obviously contributetoward minimizing the number of reorientations necessary. The use of multifunc-tional parts is a primary method of reducing the total parts count, thus enhancingdesign simplicity. Similarly, the use of modular subassemblies is a good designmethod to predesign for continuous product improvement through block upgradesand similar product line enhancements over time. As new technology moves intopractice and becomes cost effective, modular subassemblies can be easily replacedto provide expanded capabilities, higher processing speeds, or more economical(market competitive) modular substitutions. Although modular subassemblies mayincrease the total part count of the original product, the added ease and speed of implementing improvements are a positive trade-off for many products or productfamilies.
The second and third design considerations, standard material and components andstandardized design of the product, are described by the sixth commandment: stan-dardize. Design reuse is one of the most cost-effective methods used in the designprocess. By de
ning company- or product family-related standard materials, standardparts, and speci
c design process standards, the product cost and time to marketwill be reduced, while reliability and customer value will be maximized. The keyelement in standardization is establishing the discipline within the organization tokeep the standards current and readily available to the product development team,and enforcing their effective and consistent use.
The fourth design consideration is specifying or establishing design tolerances basedupon process capability rather than the typical design engineer
s af 
nity for closelytoleranced parts. This approach is embodied in the seventh design commandment:avoid dif 
cult components. The most effective way to apply this consideration isthrough the concurrent product development team environment where the designengineer and the manufacturing (producibility) engineer work collaboratively toensure that the designed parts can be ef 
ciently manufactured without excessivecosts or scrapped material. This imposes the requirement that the manufacturingengineer have full knowledge of the process capabilities of in-house equipment andprocesses, as well as supplier equipment and processes.
© 2002 by CRC Press LLC

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