What is Design for Manufacturing and Assembly?

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What is Design for Manufacturing and Assembly?

As we all know, The design phase greatly impacts 80% of a product’s manufacturing cost. Our 10+ years of production experience highlights that product quality stability depends on having an industrialization technology research framework for new product design and development.

What is FMX?

what is DFX

DFX engineering technology, a recent development in manufacturability analysis, is widely adopted by European and American enterprises. DFX stands for Design for X(Design for each part of the product life cycle).

X can represent the product life cycle or one of the links, such as assembly (M-manufacturing, T-testing), processing, use, maintenance, recycling, scrap, etc.,

It can represent product competitiveness or the factors that determine product competitiveness, such as quality, cost (C), time, etc. Includes:

DFP: Design for Procurement

Design for Procurement (DFP) is a design methodology that focuses on optimizing a product’s design to facilitate the procurement and supply chain processes.

It is a concept that aims to ensure that the design of a product is well-aligned with the sourcing, purchasing, and supply chain requirements of an organization. The primary goal of DFP is to enhance the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the procurement and sourcing processes.

DFM: Design for Manufacture

DFM (Design for Manufacturability): Focusing on designing a product in a way that makes it easier and more cost-effective to manufacture.

The primary goal of DFM is to streamline the manufacturing process, reduce manufacturing costs, and improve product quality by addressing manufacturing considerations early in the design phase.

Application Process: CNC Machining, Injection Molding, Sheet Metal Fabrication,

DFT: Design for Test

DFT (Design for Testability): Concentrating on designing products that are easier to test and diagnose for defects.

The primary goal of DFT is to facilitate the testing process and reduce the time and cost associated with identifying and addressing issues during production and quality control.

DFD: Design for Diagnosibility

Design for Diagnosability (DFD) is a set of design principles and methodologies used in product development to ensure that a product is designed in a way that facilitates the diagnosis of issues or malfunctions throughout its lifecycle.

The primary goal of DFD is to enable efficient and accurate diagnosis of problems, leading to quicker resolutions, reduced downtime, and improved product reliability.

DFA: Design for Assembly

DFA (Design for Assembly): Emphasizing the ease of assembling a product, with the goal of minimizing the number of parts and assembly steps required.

The primary goal of DFA is to streamline the assembly process, reduce assembly time, and minimize manufacturing costs by optimizing the product’s design for efficient and assembly costs.

DFE: Design for Environment

DFE (Design for Environment): Focusing on designing products with environmental sustainability in mind, such as reducing energy consumption, minimizing waste, and selecting eco-friendly materials.

It aims to minimize the negative impact of products on the environment throughout their entire lifecycle, from raw material extraction to disposal or recycling. DFE is sometimes referred to as Eco-design or Green Design.

DFR: Design for Reliability

DFR (Design for Reliability): Prioritizing the design of products that are reliable and durable over their lifespan, considering factors like stress analysis and failure modes.

DFC: Design for Cost

Design for Cost (DFC) is a design methodology and methodology that focuses on creating products that lowering manufacturing costs.

What is Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DFMA)?

Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DFMA): Under the premise of considering the appearance, function and reliability of the product, by improving the manufacturability and assemblability of the product, so as to ensure lower cost, shorter time and higher quality of product design.

(1) Manufacturability

The design requirements of the parts in the manufacturing process ensure that the parts are easy to manufacture, the manufacturing cost is low, and the quality is high.

(2) Assemblability

The design requirements of assembly process and assembly process for products ensure high assembly efficiency, low assembly defect rate, low assembly cost and high assembly quality.

(3) Features of design for manufacturing and assembly

  • (a) The design takes full account of manufacturing requirements.
  • (b) Do it right the first time.
  • (c) Low product development cost, short development cycle, high product quality.

The product development process typically comprises two main stages: product design and product manufacturing. During the product design stage, structural engineers focus on achieving the desired functionality, appearance, and reliability of the product, often without considering the manufacturing and assembly aspects.

Once the product design is finalized, the manufacturing engineer takes over the responsibility for the product’s production and assembly. Their primary concern is the efficient manufacturing and assembly of the product, with less emphasis on its functionality, appearance, and reliability.

Development Processes of DFMA

Development Process of Traditional product

Define product specifications

Define product specifications

Conceptual design

Product Design

Material selection and process selection

Sample Making

Cost analysis

Product manufacturing

DFMA discussion

Product assembly

Sample making


Product manufacturing

Mass production

Product assembly


Low volume trial production

Mass production

Purpose of DFMA

injection molding undercut design

(1) Reduce product design modifications

The product has good manufacturability and assemblability, the product manufacturing and assembly is smooth, the design modification is less, the design modification is concentrated in the product design stage, and the first time to do perfect part..

(2) Shorten the product development cycle

Product development time consists of design phase, manufacturing time and assembly time. The design phase accounts for 55% of the total development time. Design for manufacturing and assembly requires a greater investment of time and effort into product design, getting things right the first time, and can shorten development cycles by 39% compared to traditional product development .

(3) Reduce product costs

The design determines 75% of the total cost of the product, and the design phase accounts for less than 5% of the cost of the product.

The research shows that the design scheme accounts for 50%, the detailed drawing accounts for 30%, and the processing accounts for 20%. The design for manufacturing and assembly concentrates the design modification in the product design stage with the least design modification cost, and reduces the cost.

In addition, the product design is simplified, the product cost is reduced, the assembly process and assembly time are reduced, and the assembly cost is reduced. Reduce product defect rate, reduce cost waste.

(4) Improve product quality

Through the design for manufacturing and assembly, the product has good manufacturability and assemblability, and the product design has been optimized and improved in the product development stage, so the quality problems of the product in the later manufacturing and assembly are avoided, and the quality of the product is greatly improved.

Design Principles for Manufacturing and Assembly

The concept of assembly: Assembly is to assemble two or more parts into a product.

1#: Reduce the number of parts

Design Principles for Manufacturing and Assembly​

(a) Consider removing each part.

(b) Merging of similar parts into one.

(c) The symmetrical parts are combined into one.

(d) Rational selection of manufacturing processes to design multi-purpose parts.

(e) Remove the label and engrave the label on the part.

(f) Use of novel technologies.

2#: Reduce the number and type of fasteners

(a) The use of the same type of fastener, as if the same type of screw, washer, glue, etc., were used in one machine.

(b) Use clasp and hem instead of fasteners.

(c) Avoid scattered fasteners. Setting fasteners as one reduces the type of fastener and reduces assembly time and efficiency. Such as PWA type self-tapping screw.

(d) Use self-tapping screws instead of mechanical screws to make stud nuts the last choice.

(e) Parts standardization, try to use the company’s existing screw specifications, or use existing and mature parts in the market.

3#: parts standardization

a. Benefits of parts standardization

(a-1) Part standardization can reduce the waste of time and effort in new part development caused by custom parts, and shorten the product development cycle.

(a-2) Reduce costs. Standardized parts often cost less because of the scale, for plastic, sheet metal and other parts that need to be manufactured by mold, the use of standardized parts can save the cost of mold, and the cost advantage of parts is more obvious. In terms of cost, custom parts, like custom clothes, are usually more expensive.

(a-3) Avoid the risk of parts quality problems. Standardized parts have been widely used and proven to be of reliable quality. On the contrary, customized parts need to pass strict quality and functional verification, otherwise it is prone to quality problems.

b. The realization of parts standardization.

(b-1) Develop a standard library of commonly used parts and a part priority list, and implement standardization strategies among different products within the enterprise.

(b-2) Hardware parts, such as screws, nuts, conductive foam, etc. Use the supplier’s standard parts, hardware parts customization will bring cost and time increase.

4#: Modular product design

Modular product design refers to combining multiple adjacent parts in a product into a sub-component or module, and a product is composed of multiple sub-components or modules. The application of modular design complex products are decomposed into multiple functional modules, thus simplifying the product structure and reducing the assembly process during the total assembly of the product.

At the same time, the modular sub-components can be inspected before the total assembly of the product, and the assembly quality problems can be found earlier and easier to avoid unqualified products flowing into the total assembly line of the product, so as to improve the assembly efficiency and improve the assembly quality of the product.



Gavin Leo is a technical writer at Aria with 8 years of experience in Engineering, He proficient in machining characteristics and surface finish process of various materials. and participated in the development of more than 100complex injection molding and CNC machining projects. He is passionate about sharing his knowledge and experience.