APPLICABILITY FOR DESIGN ENGINEERS
This is what Design Engineers will take away from Dr. Anderson's DFM seminar and be able
to apply right away either individually or in a team context including:
• Learning dozens of design guideline presented
for part design/assembly and assuring
quality and reliability by design.
• How to learn information about relevant manufacturability challenges and
solutions from people in Manufacturing, Quality, Procurement, and those
familiar with customers, field performance, and reliability.
• How to learn lessons from previous/similar projects using lessons
learned techniques: teams or individual engineers can look up data (such
as change orders), investigate issues, and ask information about the three
lessons-learned categories: product development issues (firefighting,
change orders, hard to launch, ramp delays, etc.); factory issues
(fabrication, assembly, build time, failures, rework, scrap, etc.), and
field issues (reliability and performance).
• How to work with Manufacturing Engineers to design parts for the optimal
manufacturability and compatibility with factory processes while
concurrently engineering fixturing, tooling, and procedures.
• How to work early with purchasing people to select parts and materials to
maximize quality and availability while assuring the desired functionality.
• How to work with Procurement and suppliers to thoroughly explore
off-the-shelf part opportunities before arbitrary decisions preclude their
• How to work with vendor/partners to
jointly design custom parts for the best manufacturability, quality,
delivery time, and the lowest total cost.
• How to coordinate an Engineer’s design efforts with other adjacent parts,
the part’s subassembly, and the overall product.
• How to maximize synergies like optimal interfaces, modularity, and
• How to apply creative techniques for more innovative results.
• Why at the above methodologies will result in quicker design completion,
improve the chances of working right-the-first-time, and minimize later
firefighting and change orders.
• Why doing the above methodologies will enhance an Engineer’s career with
better results, higher proportion of rewarding design work and
less firefighting, less distractions on the next
project, better results on subsequent projects, and ultimately better
assignments and more promising career opportunities.
• Know how to be a good project team leader, who ensures the team follows
all of these principles.
Further, as the company implements other seminar recommendations, the design
engineers will find the following tasks will be easier and more effective:
• Quickly finding standard parts. Until
parts are standardized, parts that have
been used before should be immediately listed so engineers can quickly
find them and will not be adding “new” parts when
equivalent (or better) parts are already in the system.
• Automatically find parts with the lowest total cost, when the raw
part cost is combined with that part’s material overhead, which can
be one-tenth for readily available standard parts.
• Reduce pressure to
parts to “save cost”
and avoid the extra efforts required to make the change and deal with the
effects that “always degrade both product and process performance” in
• Benefit from more available help from others to do all the above steps when the
company better prioritizes projects to focus on the most profitable
• Better concurrent engineering when manufacturing are readily
accessible as opposed to
offshoring when manufacturing and engineering people are not working at
the same time.
APPLICABILITY FOR MANAGERS
Managers and Executives will learn the following take-aways by attending the
first morning (along with the rest of the class) to support the engineers tasks
Understanding the resource availability challenge. Whether products are
developed in multi-functional teams or by networked individuals, all design
engineers must practice concurrent engineering by meeting early and
often with manufacturing engineers, purchasing agents, and people who
understand the causes of problems regarding quality, reliability, field
performance, and any customer or user issues. For this to happen, all these
resources must have enough open bandwidth to be
available to help designers and not be too busy fighting daily fires and
writing urgent change orders. Without the availability to offer
this help, design engineers will do "open loop" designs and throw them
over-the-wall to Manufacturing.
Understanding the resource availability solutions. Senior management must
ensure that "multi-functional" people are available early either in formal
teams or available to help individual engineers make their designs
manufacturable. Otherwise, support people will be too busy trying to fix
manufacturability problems (never really successfully), which will make them
even less available from the next projects. The seminar will show many ways
to make these people available, even as the company
shifts from the all-to-common back-loaded model
to proactive concurrent engineering interactions up-front. One of the
effective ways to do this, and ensure design success, is to prioritize
product development efforts and focus on the most profitable projects,
which will need
total cost measurements to calculate or estimate true
Another effective practice is
using up resources trying to reduce cost by change-order after design
(except for truly low-hanging-fruit) because cost is designed in, hard to
remove, and attempts may raise other costs (like
quality costs) and "always
degrade both product and process performance" as the seminar best
practices will show. Most of the other resource availability techniques
focus on eliminating corrective fire-fighting and change orders by
ensuring enough focus for thorough up-front work (next).
Understand the Paradox about time-lines. The paradox of product development
is that rushing the early work delays the ramp
to stable production, customer acceptance, or the "time to revenue" when
sales will pay off the product development effort and manufacturing
investments. These must be the metrics for product development efforts, not
"release" to manufacturing, which encourages throwing it over the wall "on
time," ready or not.
Learning how to accelerate the time-to-revenue. Thorough up-front work
is the key to the quickest time to revenue, because that is when design
engineers have the opportunities to:
• understand lessons learned and avoid repeating problems that
occurred on past projects.
• work with operations people to optimize manufacturability "right the
• concurrently engineer fixtures, tooling, and manufacturing procedures.
• work with quality/reliability engineers to develop quality strategies
and design in quality and reliability.
• work with test engineers to develop test strategies and ensure test
• work with Procurement to (a) ensure part availability throughout the
life of the product and (b) select off-the-shelf parts early before
arbitrary decisions preclude there use.
• work with vendor/partners who
will help design the part and its tooling, which will save cost and
time, while helping to ensure performance.
Another reason to encourage thorough up-front work is because that phase
is the biggest determinant of cost (next)
Learn how to minimizing Total Cost. The prerequisite is to
quantify all costs
and then design to minimize all those costs. Instead of trying to remove
costs after design, low-cost product development is
accomplished by actually designing low cost products by techniques taught
throughout the course. The key methodologies are presented at the
article “Designing Low Cost Products.”
copyright © 2014 by
David M. Anderson
Book-length web-site on Half Cost Products:
[DFM Consulting] [DFM
[DFM Books] [Credentials]
[Clients] [Site Map]
[Half Cost Products site] [Standardization
article] [Mass Customization article]
[BTO article] [Rationalization
Design for manufacturability ( DFM ), standardization & cost reduction techniques can cut total cost in half while improving quality & lead time! Practical consulting, seminars, articles & books.