Best Practices for successful implementation of DFMPro: Part 1

DFMPro helps organizations bring in a standardized approach towards “Design for manufacturing” to eliminate downstream issues, design rework, cost overruns and produce high quality products. Till date, DFMPro has assisted hundreds of customers in various domains to achieve their individual targets and become more efficient.

There are multiple approaches which can be taken to derive the maximum benefits from a DFMPro deployment. One can select from the available approaches by taking into account the different environments within an individual company complemented by the type of business, nature of products, and the spread of operations (both internal and external supplier base) across the globe etc.

In this series of blogs, we will look at various ways in which you can approach deployment and extract maximum benefits of DFMPro in your company.

Note: These are best practices adopted by customers specific to their individual scenarios

Customer approach 1:

Industry: Automotive

Footprint: Global

DFMPro implemenation in automotive industry

The challenges that drove this customer to adopt DFMPro were as follows:

  1. How to apply best design standards for products designed & manufactured globally?
  2. Varying expertise in design teams due to attrition.
  3. How to consolidate the supplier best practices and make available to designers?

4. Avoid potential post release engineering change orders resulting due to tooling changes for complex plastic components

Due to the enormous scale of the business and previous experience of handling unique design tools, the customer adopted the following step by step approach for successful implementation of DFMPro:

Phase 1: Define & Setup Phase

  • Steering committee was formed which included SME’s from different teams.
  • Thorough understanding of technical capabilities of DFMPro was conducted internally by steering committee.
  • Identifying the projects to be targeted for DFMPro deployment which enabled formation of target groups.
  • Defining the success criteria to be targeted at the end of implementation to ensure maximum benefits were extracted from DFMPro.
  • Configuring design guidelines in DFMPro by studying existing best practices in coordination with developers of the software.

Phase 2: Implementation Phase

  • Setting a predefined process for usage of DFMPro within “design to release” cycle. This was done in conjunction with the steering committee and management.
  • Training the relevant stakeholders on the solution to ensure familiarity with software functionalities.
  • Getting feedback & acceptance from user community for further improvements in the process.
  • Consistent usage of DFMPro on all identified projects to build data points for comparison.

Benefits Derived:

  1. DFMPro increased the product designers’ awareness of potential manufacturing issues during the product development process. Acting as great training tool for new engineers who weren’t well versed with challenges in plastic part manufacturing.
  2. DFMPro increased the Engineering and Design team’s confidence in the design of Plastic Injection Molded Parts, by validating part manufacturability, tooling and processes early.
  3. DFMPro assisted in reducing post-production engineering change orders, by identifying and defining potential tooling and manufacturing ‘issues’ prior to pre-production and production release of the parts.
  4. DFMPro helped bridge the gap between design and supplier teams with effective collaboration through powerful reports.

Drivers for successful implementation:

  1. Awareness of geo-political scenario within the various departments to get unanimous support for the tool
  2. Formation of “User groups” to support issue resolution and result interpretation generated through DFMPro
  3. Getting DFMPro as part of their design to release cycle to ensure all designs pass through DFMPro before release
  4. Configuration of DFMPro rules to suit their product best practices
  5. Giving freedom to design engineers to turn on/off certain rules at different stages of Design to get best results from DFMPro
  6. Building custom DFMPro rules to ensure path to continuous improvement

Stay tuned for more such best practices in our upcoming blogs and learn how other customers in industries such as Medical, High tech, Industrial successfully implemented DFMPro.