Design for Manufacturing (DFM)

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Brittney Wilmington
Brittney Wilmington

Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Brittney – a senior application engineer with ESP. Today we will talk about design for manufacture-ability and design for manufacture-ability / repeatability, known as DFM or DFMR.


  • What is DFM?
  • Why DFM is important and should be integrated into your design phase
  • How you should integrate DFM when looking at different applications and reviewing from an engineering development
  • When and where within your process you should consider DFM

What is (DFM) Design For Manufacturability, Repeatability?

DFM's purpose is when a drawing or application parameters request something custom - something that is unique to your everyday catalog – to question:

  • How can I ease TAC (Turnaround) time - for operations?
  • • How do I ease the production life cycle?

But first, you must understand the phases your product goes through during the design review phase.

Product Phases. New Bid – Application Design – Samples - Production

Let's say your sales team has a great new opportunity. You look at the product and start working with engineering to design. You figure out what kind of concept design to go with. It goes to samples; samples get customer tested; they spec out. They work great. You go ahead and release it to production. With releasing it into production, you think we're all set. We are ready to go.

But there are instances when you've designed in theory, tested, and validated – that may not be applicable.

  • It has shortcomings on the line.
  • They can't build it.
  • They have some issues.

Why did my samples work so well, but now that I'm in production, I'm having issues? This is why you should consider design for manufacturability.

How do I get that at the front end of the business phase? Because now I'm talking about DFM after I have a known issue.

You want to start looking at what is important:

  • Process
  • Design
  • Material
  • Environment
  • Compliance Testing


  1. What is the process that the product is going to undergo?
  2. Where are you buying it from?
  3. Where is your raw stock? Materials?
  4. How are they going to get shipped to you?


  • How is it going to be installed?
  • It works functionally, but what about installation parameters?
  • Who's all going to see it?


  • What are the additives?
  • Is there an additional finish?
  • Is the finish on that material impacted by shipping and handling?


  • DFM may not have environmental implications on the direct product but could while in storage - exposed to different ozone environmental conditions that may cause your parts to degrade quicker, etc.

Compliance Testing

Compliance testing is not limited to just how the part performs on the line. It's the functional test you're doing in the manufacturing environment to send it to the customer. Compliance testing could be rigorous testing, testing to failure, testing to end-of-life, etc. You will want a product that can do everything throughout the product life cycle.

Who are the key stakeholders of design for manufacturability?

It's going to be operations. Turnaround time. Because after you put this into production, they are the ones that take the biggest hit.

When should you consider design for manufacturability?

It would be best if you were talking about DFM during the application design phase.

How do I start talking about design for manufacturability? Who do I need to talk to?

Start working with your quality team, operations, and supply chain. From start to finish - what hands and departments is the product going through?

What are the nonconformist aspects:

  • Is there any handoff between departments or different product lifecycles that this nonconformist or a defect is going to happen to my part?
  • One big misunderstanding is that shipping and handling are not typically a part of the design review phase because if it works functionally, who cares how it is shipped and packaged? But if it's getting damaged in shipping, it can impact your product, your lead time, your performance, etc.

The end goal and end focus is why is this so important? Why should I consider design for manufacturability?

Because you want to limit that cost of quality downstream. The cost of quality is anything that impacts the performance and quality of your product, which comes into design for manufacturability, which impacts operations. And this is why it's important to consider before sampling and production so that you can ease the process life of this product through its cycle.

Hopefully, I answered all your questions.

Goodbye for now.