The Importance of DFM in New Product Development
The success of a new product is often determined by how well it is manufactured. A product that is difficult or expensive to manufacture will be more challenging to bring to market and will likely be more expensive for consumers. This is why it is essential to design for manufacture (DFM) from the start of the product development process.
Questions to Ask When Developing a New Product
There are many questions that need to be answered to design your product for manufacturing successfully. Some of these include:
- What materials will be used in my product?
- What manufacturing processes will need to be implemented?
- What is the cost of manufacturing my product?
- What quality standards does my product need to meet?
- What is the environmental impact of my product?
By considering these questions from the initial stages of planning, designers can create products that are easier and less expensive to manufacture while still meeting the demands of consumers.
Things to Consider When Designing with Manufacturing in Mind
We’ve put together a list of tips to consider when applying DFM practices to your product:
- Use standard components and materials. This will make it easier to find suppliers and manufacture your product.
- Keep the design simple. The more complex the design, the more difficult and expensive it will be to manufacture.
- Use CAD software to create 3D models of the product. This will help you to identify any potential manufacturing or assembly problems early on.
- Get feedback from manufacturers early in the design process. This will help you to ensure that the product is feasible to manufacture.
Following these tips can greatly increase your chances of commercial success for your new product and company growth.
Products Successfully Designed for Manufacturing
Now let’s look at some successful products where DFM has been the central factor.
- Smartphones are a great example of an electronic product designed with manufacturing in mind. They are made from standard components that are easy to obtain and assemble. Their ability to be mass-produced through advanced DFM processes allows for lower costs and greater product availability, making this a popular product with consumers.
- Cosmetics are another beaming example of successful DFM. Although simple in design and materials, they are found at almost every store throughout the world, and must be readily available and cheap to produce.
These are just a few examples of how companies have benefited from producing a new product with DFM at the start of the design process. Doing so can significantly increase your chances of commercial success and a higher ROI.
Products with Failed Designs
Now let’s turn to the other side and look at product and company failures based on poor design. Over-engineering is a mistake many companies new to product development make. They get excited about their product design and want to include all the bells and whistles. Often, over-engineering leads to longer lead times, parts scarcity, and over-complicating the assembly and manufacturing process.
- In the mid-2000s, a new product was developed and marketed as an “all-in-one entertainment solution.” It was a cooler that included a Bluetooth speaker, LED light, USB charger, bottle opener, and a blender. This product sounded too good to be true, and it was. manufacture the product. Consumers did not want to wait the two-year-long lead time to receive their product or pay the ever-growing price tag, which was 142% higher than expected. manufacture the product.
- Drinking freshly squeezed juice is something humans have enjoyed since the dawn of time. The process is pretty simple. You pick your fruit, squeeze it into a glass, and drink it. One company overcomplicated this process by designing an internet-connected juicer with over 400 custom-designed parts. Not only did this come with a hefty price tag, but it was also inefficient to manufacture. Six months after the startup was launched, the company shut down.
DFM Equals Success To Your New Product Development
We hope you’ve found this guide to DFM beneficial to developing a new product. Products are created to solve a problem and provide that solution to the people. To succeed, you must design your solution with the end result already in mind.
Pivot International has over 50 years of experience bringing successful solutions to the hands of consumers. We provide a global multi-disciplined team in engineering and design, project management, global supply chain, manufacturing, and regulatory compliance. From initial concept through scalable manufacturing, our teams help guide your business to successful product development. Contact us today to learn more about our capabilities.