How Seminars & Workshops Are Customized for Practicality and Relevance

Here are some of the many ways that Dr. Anderson customizes DFM seminars to be relevant to the company’s products and industry.

The Preparation and Customization

First of all, Dr. Anderson personally prepare all handouts, present all seminars, and facilitate all workshops and customize all seminars with surveys, phone/email interviews, a plant tour before the seminar, and work with the client to pick relevant topics to cover. This results in training that is much more relevant to the company than a caned presentation by staff trainers who are not allowed to make any changes to “the product.”


Training and workshops are customized for the company’s products, industry, and production volumes. For low-volume manufacturers, seminars include relevant principles and examples applicable to the company’s production volume. Seminars for medium-volume companies will emphasize processing flexibility and cellular manufacturing to minimize setup costs and inventory to build products on-demand. Training for high-volume companies will emphasize investments in concurrently designed tooling, more thorough DFM for high-volume processes, vendor partnerships, selecting parts and material to assure availability, and product-specific workshops.

Dr. Anderson offers unique workshops can immediately apply the seminar principles to generate breakthrough concepts to development new projects or low-cost subassemblies that can be retrofitted into current products, such as the Workshop to Reduce Cost and Steel Workshop for Large Parts.

Seminars and workshops will be practical and relevant because all of Dr. Anderson’s experiences as a product development team leader, as a developer of special production machinery and tooling, as a Manager of Flexible Manufacturing in an Advanced Manufacturing Group, and as a task force leader implementing DFM and standardization programs plus 25 years teaching companies in many industries.

Emphasizing What Works; Warning About What Doesn’t

Dr. Anderson’s approach focuses on designing the product and on the phases, not the gates or reviews. Nor does it focus on deadline “management” (which can be counterproductive if poorly set deadlines don’t encourage thorough up-front work); not cost reduction analysis after design (which misses the biggest opportunities, which are determined by the design); and not metrics or software tools that score designs based on part count and encourage part combinations (which may be hard to build if they get too large to process on typical production machinery). For instance, one client got an award for combining 30 functions into a single piece of plastic, but only two vendors in the world could make it and their parts were not interchangeable! Similarly, the mantra of minimizing parts may pressure designers to use fewer fasteners, instead of the more useful guideline to minimize faster types and mechanize the assembly of standard fasteners.

Dr. Anderson’s approach shows how to develop low-cost products by designing to minimize total cost, instead of counterproductive activities like:

• measuring “cost” as the Bill-of-Materials, which tells engineers to pick cheap parts that incur much more more quality costs and slow product development and launches

• measuring “cost” as labor cost, which can tempt companies to move production to low-labor cost countries but that has many hidden costs and precludes the greater value from designers working together as a team with manufacturing people.

trying to reduce cost after design, which is hard to do because so much is cast-in-concrete, so this usually results in cheapening parts which raises quality cost even more),

low-bidding on vendor-produced parts, which misses greater value in vendor-assisted designs.

Dr. Anderson’s Approach

This approach emphasizes thorough up-front work that cuts in half the time to stable production and determines most of the cost. The seminar shows how to concurrently engineer products and processes in multifunctional teams to achieve these goals and how to implement these principles on the first project through workshops. It will also show how to standardize parts and materials, design in quality , lower quality costs, and design products for Lean Production, Build-to-Order, and Mass Customization

Question answers and discussions, some which are planned, are based on Dr. Anderson’s 25 years experience and usually involve some relevant examples.

Contact Dr. David M. Anderson, fASME, P.E., CMC
phone: 1-805-924-0100
fax: 1-805-924-0200


Call Dr. Anderson at 1-805-924-0100 to discuss implementing these techniques or e-mail him at with your name, title, company, phone, types of products, and needs/opportunities.

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