Here at Catania, we prioritize the user experience at every level of the product design lifecycle. One aspect of this process that many may not initially consider is the actual manufacturing of the product. However, this is one of the most important aspects of the product design lifecycle to ensure long-term success. This is where Catania introduces the practice of Design for Manufacturability (DFM) – the process of proactively assessing potential obstacles in a product’s design that might impede or complicate the manufacturing process.
“To try to get to the market quickly, companies come up with great ideas for assembling products. However, it’s not until you begin producing a large quantity of these products that you start encountering challenges. These challenges might include realizing that the design is not feasible for production, it’s complex to assemble, or that there’s simply a more effective approach,” explained Catania CTO Ray Catania.
Catania understands this challenge through our decades of experience. By using design for manufacturability, we ensure potential problems are mitigated early on, saving the customer valuable time and potential rework by beginning with the end in mind.
The importance of DFM
The most significant impact of change, along with a reduced cost of change, occurs primarily during the product’s requirements and design phase. Properly executed DFM in the initial design stage will yield optimal returns in terms of both time and cost. DFM encompasses several principles to establish an effective manufacturing plan:
Process: Design for manufacturability is not just for the assembly line. Depending on the many different types of manufacturing processes, there are significant guidelines, practices and tolerances to consider. It is critical to understand the full spectrum of the product to ensure its design will sail smoothly through the manufacturing process.
Design: Simplicity is key. The greater the complexity of the design, the higher the potential risk of encountering issues during the manufacturing process.
Materials: Materials play a crucial role in product design and the manufacturing process. Materials not only influence cost and quality, but it will affect how the manufacturing process unfolds.
Environment: Consideration of how the product will be used is key. With user experience as our priority here at Catania, the manufacturing process must guarantee an overall positive user experience throughout the product’s lifecycle. DFM must ensure that the product’s design will remain unaffected by its intended environment.
Testing: DFM must always take into consideration Industry standards to ensure the product passes inspections.
And finally continuous improvement. Let’s explore this principle with one of our clients, SwiftPaws.
Case Study: SwiftPaws
Several years ago, SwiftPaws CEO Megan Wolfgram approached us with the challenge of redesigning her product due to difficulties in assembly. Catania took a hard look at the internal structure of her product, the SwiftPaws Home System (you gotta check it out!) to identify enhancements that could would improve its design for manufacturability.
“Our primary focus was on simplicity. We ensured that the new design would facilitate effortless installation, eliminating the need for screws. With all components neatly arranged within the clamshell housing, assembly became a simple process of snapping it shut, removing the complexities,” explains Ray.
We didn’t stop there. Megan had several hundred housings with the previous design that she didn’t want to go to waste. Catania meticulously reviewed the design and reengineered it, so these housings could be used with minor adjustments to still produce a quality product. This approach allowed her to maintain production momentum while awaiting the new assembly housings, without slowing down her business – or profits.
We’ve got you covered. Catania’s unwavering passion ensures we treat your business as if it were our own. We understand the full scope, ensuring a seamless journey for your product throughout the entire manufacturing process. Our team of talented mechanical, manufacturing, systems and project engineers are prepared to provide a personalized experience that meets the needs of your project, from inception to launch.