Design for manufacturing (DFM is a product development approach that highlights the significance of designing a product in a way that it’s easy to manufacture. This approach is applied in many engineering disciplines including the injection molding of small plastic parts. But, when you make a comparison of plastic molding methods, you will discover that the popularity of this approach. It is applied to everything from the raw materials used to dimensional tolerances to the number of components in a finished plastic part, allowing companies to usually produce more parts faster and at a lower cost.
There are some important considerations in the DFM of small plastic parts such as the following:
Reduced Number of Components
In DFM, if plastic parts have more seams or connections, they could fail more places. Simple parts that have fewer elements tend to be more dependable and easier to assemble. Also, they are subject to fewer inventory control problems.
Use of Standard Components
Commercially available and field-tested components can be used instead of custom designing every part. This eliminates some possible problems.
Use of Parts Designed Across the Product Lines
Instead of re-making the wheel several times over for various product, the design for manufacturing is focused on engineering new products to use as many common parts as possible.
When designing plastic parts, fabrication must be taken into account. This includes the use of shapes that are easy to mold and avoiding the need to surface finishes which require more work.
Limited Machine Operations
Creating small plastic parts can take more time when there is a higher number of operations required. Also, this brings more opportunities for errors.
Easy to Achieve Tolerances
Capitalizing on smart design can help achieve outstanding finished plastic products. It is a more viable approach than pushing the systems used for creating parts to their limits.
Assembly Process Consideration
When designing a plastic part, it has to be done in a way that it is easy to assemble. This increases productivity and reduces the risk of issues to take place.
Reduced Need for Adjustments
Being able to fine-tune a part may seem like a benefit when designing it. However, it becomes more work when it’s time to manufacturing the part and leaves you at risk of delivering parts that need adjustment.
Impacts on Part Packaging and Shipping
Preparing the final products in a way that it allows quicker delivery and with less packing will simplify the manufacturing process’ tail end. In turn, this will save you money.