Everyone wants their product to cost as little as possible. Less cost means more profit.
A while ago, I was at a seminar and one of the speakers said that the second biggest reason that startups fail is that they run out of money. (The no. 1 reason is that the product fails to solve a real problem or meet the demands, but that discussion is for another time).
If you can make your physical product to cost as little as possible, you are on your way to success. Cost reduction starts early in the development process, and one of the easiest to reduce cost, is DFMA.
Reduce the Number of Parts
DFMA stands for Design for Manufacture and Assembly and is one of the Design for X methodologies.
It boils down to one thing: Reduce the number of parts! One less part means one less part to manufacture, assemble, document, quote, redesign and revise.
A common misconception is that dividing you part into smaller, simpler and more machinable parts will make it cheaper. In the 1960s, producibility guidelines were developed that encouraged engineers and designers to do exactly that, but these have been shown to be wrong in many cases.
Ask Yourself these Questions
To determine if a part can be eliminated, ask yourself these three questions:
Take a look at this box I designed for an automaton a couple of years ago.
If you want to learn more about DFMA, I really recommend this book by G. Boothroyd and P. Dewhurst.
Every design engineer should read this book!
In this book, you will learn:
If I were to look for areas where the book could improve, I would have wished it included more about: