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Design for Manufacturing and Assembly

• Design for manufacturing (DFM) is design based on

minimizing the cost of production and/or time to market
for a product, while maintaining an appropriate level of
quality. A primary strategy in DFM involves minimizing
the number of parts in a product.
• Design For Assembly (DFA) involves making attachment
directions and methods simpler.

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DFM and DFA Benefits
It reduces part count thereby reducing cost. If a
design is easier to produce and assemble, it can
be done in less time, so it is less expensive.
Design for manufacturing and assembly should
be used for that reason if no other.

It increases reliability, because if the production

process is simplified, then there is less
opportunity for errors.
It generally increases the quality of the product for the
same reason as why it increases the reliability.

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• DFM and DFA starts with the formation of the
design team which tends to be multi-disciplinary,
including engineers, manufacturing managers,
cost accountants, and marketing and sales
• The most basic approach to design for
manufacturing and assembly is to apply design
• You should use design guidelines with an
understanding of design goals. Make sure that the
application of a guideline improves the design
concept on those goal.
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DFM and DFA Design Guidelines
• Minimize part count by incorporating multiple functions into
single parts. Several parts could be fabricated by using different
manufacturing processes (sheet metal forming, injection
molding). Ask yourself if a part function can be performed by a
neighboring part.

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DFM and DFA Design Guidelines
• Modularize multiple parts into single sub-assemblies.

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DFM and DFA Design Guidelines
• Design to allow assembly in open spaces, not
confined spaces. Do not bury important

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DFM and DFA Design Guidelines
• Parts should easily indicate orientation for insertion.
Parts should have self-locking features so that the
precise alignment during assembly is not required. Or,
provide marks (indentation) to make orientation

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DFM and DFA Design Guidelines
• Standardize parts to reduce variety.

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DFM and DFA Design Guidelines
• Design parts so they do not tangle or stick to each

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DFM and DFA Design Guidelines
• Distinguish different parts that are shaped
similarly by non-geometric means, such as color

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DFM and DFA Design Guidelines
• Design parts to prevent nesting. Nesting is when
parts are stacked on top of one another clamp to
one another, for example, cups and coffee lids

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DFM and DFA Design Guidelines
• Design parts with orienting features to make
alignment easier.

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DFM and DFA Design Guidelines
• Provide alignment features on the assembly
so parts are easily oriented.

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DFM and DFA Design Guidelines
• Design the mating parts for easy insertion. Provide
allowance on each part to compensate for
variation in part dimensions.

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DFM and DFA Design Guidelines
• Design the first part large and wide to be stable
and then assemble the smaller parts on top of it

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DFM and DFA Design Guidelines
• If you cannot assemble parts from the top down
exclusively, then minimize the number of
insertion direction. Never require the assembly to
be turned over.

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DFM and DFA Design Guidelines
• Joining parts can be done with fasteners (screws,
nuts and bolts, rivets), snap fits, welds or

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DFM and DFA Design Guidelines

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Minimizing the Number of Parts
To determine whether it is possible to combine
neighboring parts, ask yourself the following questions:
• Must the parts move relative to each other?
• Must the parts be electrically or thermally
• Must the parts be made of different material?
• Does combing the parts interfere with
assembly of other parts?
• Will servicing be adversely affected?
If the answer to all questions is “NO”, you should find a
way to combine the parts.

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Minimizing the Number of Parts
The concept of the theoretical minimum number of
parts was originally proposed by Boothroyd
(1982). During the assembly of the product,
generally a part is required only when;
1. A kinematic motion of the part is required.
2. A different material is required.
3. Assembly of other parts would otherwise be
If non of these statements are true, then the part is not
needed to be a separate entity.
KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid
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DFM Design Guidelines

Another aspect of design for manufacturing is to make

each part easy to produce.
The up to date DFM guidelines for different processes
should be obtained from production engineer
knowledgeable about the process. The manufacturing
processes are constantly refined.

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DFM Design Guidelines
Injection Molding
Fabrication of Plastics
Injection Molding

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DFM Design Guidelines
Injection Molding
Provide adequate draft
angle for easier mold

Minimize section thickness,

cooling time is proportional
to the square of the thickness,
reduce cost by reducing the
cooling time.

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DFM Design Guidelines
Injection Molding

Keep rib thickness less than

60% of the part thickness in
order to prevent voids and

Avoid sharp corners, they

produce high stress and
obstruct material flow.

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DFM Design Guidelines
Injection Molding

Provide smooth transition, Keep section thickness uniform

avoid changes in thickness around bosses.
when possible.

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DFM Design Guidelines
Injection Molding
• Use standard general tolerances, do not tolerance;
Dimension Tolerance Dimension Tolerance
0 ≤ d ≤ 25 ± 0.5 mm 0 ≤ d ≤ 1.0 ± 0.02 inch
25 ≤ d ≤ 125 ± 0.8 mm 1 ≤ d ≤ 5.0 ± 0.03 inch
125 ≤ d ≤ 300 ± 1.0 mm 5 ≤ d ≤ 12.0 ± 0.04 inch
300 ± 1.5 mm 12.0 ± 0.05 inch
• Minimum thickness recommended; .025
in or .65 mm, up to .125 for large parts.

• Round interior and exterior corners to .01- Standard thickness

.015 in radius (min.), prevents an edge variation.
from chipping.
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DFM Design Guidelines
Rotational Molding
Rotational molding process consists of six steps

• A predetermined amount of plastic, powder or liquid form,

is deposited in one half of a mold.
• The mold is closed.
• The mold is rotated biaxially inside an oven.
• The plastics melts and forms a coating over the inside
surface of the mold.
• The mold is removed from the oven and cooled.
• The part is removed from the mold.

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Rotational Molding Machines

Vertical wheel machine

Turret machine

Shuttle machine
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Rock and roll machine 28
Rotational Molding

• Molds are relatively inexpensive.

• Rotational molding machines are much less
expensive than other type of plastic processing
• Different parts can be molded at the same time.
• Very large hollow parts can be made.
• Parts are stress free.
• Very little scrap is produced

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Rotational Molding

• Can not make parts with tight tolerance.

• Large flat surfaces are difficult to achieve.

• Molding cycles are long (10-20 min.)

Polyethylene (most common), Polycarbonate (high heat
resistance and good impact strength), Nylon (good wear
and abrasion resistance, good chemical resistance, good
toughness and stiffness).
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Rotational Molding

Nominal wall thickness

• Polycarbonate wall thickness is typically between

.06 to .375 inches, .125 inch being an ideal
• Polyethylene wall thickness is in the range of .125
to .25 inch, up to 1 inch thick wall is possible
• Nylon wall thickness is in the range of .06 to .75

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Rotational Molding Examples

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Rotational Molding Examples

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DFM Design Guidelines
Sheet-metal Forming

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DFM Design Guidelines
Sheet-metal Forming

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DFM Design Guidelines
Sheet-metal Forming

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DFM Design Guidelines - Casting
Casting, one of the oldest manufacturing processes, dates
back to 4000 B.C. when copper arrowheads were made.
• Casting processes basically involve the introduction of a
molten metal into a mold cavity, where upon
solidification, the metal takes on the shape of the mold
• Simple and complicated shapes can be made from
any metal that can be melted.
• Example of cast parts: frames, structural parts,
machine components, engine blocks, valves, pipes,
statues, ornamental artifacts…..
• Casting sizes range form few mm (teeth of a zipper)
to 10 m (propellers of ocean liners).
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Casting Processes
1. Preparing a mold cavity of the desired shape with
proper allowance for shrinkage.
2. Melting the metal with acceptable quality and temp.
3. Pouring the metal into the cavity and providing
means for the escape of air or gases.
4. Solidification process, must be properly designed
and controlled to avoid defects.
5. Mold removal.
6. Finishing, cleaning and inspection operations.

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Sand Casting Terminology

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Casting Defects
Hot spots – thick sections cool slower than other sections
causing abnormal shrinkage. Defects such as voids, cracks
and porosity are created.

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Casting Defects and Design

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DFM Design Guidelines - Casting

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DFM Design Guidelines - Casting

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DFM Design Guidelines – Machining

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