Design for Manufacturability (DFM) Process Overview

Design for Manufacturability (DFM) Process

Design for manufacturability (DFM) is a problem-solving process. It organizes printed circuit board (PCB) layout delivery and reduces errors in fabrication and assembly. The principles of DFM help contract manufacturers keep all the design specifications in a functional layout, regardless of the size of the PCB in question. 

When you discover mistakes in the final processes of fabrication/assembly, it’s a crapshoot: Was the problem with materials? Did we skew the prototypes somehow? Was it the PCB? That’s where DFM plays an important role.

Why DFM is an Important Aspect of the PCB Design Process

During PCB fabrication/assembly, you can experience design-related or manufacturing mistakes. DFM software analyzes and solves problems specific to your PCB process before they happen. DFM can eliminate miscommunication mistakes between the design and manufacturing teams.

“We’re in this together” is a trite-but-true advantage to the DFM engineering process. All teams involved share a back-and-forth conversation, from design and development to production. Mistakes are discovered at the front-end of the manufacturing process/design, rather than afterwards.

DFM also seeks best options for your manufacturing processes. This can be a real money-saver for short runs. Rather than create separate molds, you can use other methods for mass-produced, small-quantity items.

DFM also helps manufacturers improve on pre-existing designs. If processes are no longer applicable to today’s production and manufacturing, they can be eliminated. If a company has mass-produced a product in the past and now plans to put it back into production, it can save money by reevaluating the original design and the processes used to make it into a product.

Imagineering’s Experience

Here at Imagineering, we use a series of tests designed to replicate probable working conditions. With our fully staffed CAD CAM stations, we analyze every project for DFM compliance. By discovering and fixing potential manufacturing problems in the pre-fabrication stage, we are able to provide the highest quality PCBs while meeting client’s deadlines.

We examine the board design to ensure it will function in its intended environments. For example, if the board will see use in machinery that generates tremendous heat, the PCB design will need to incorporate components and protective elements that can withstand these conditions.

If the PCB can’t meet our expectations, it will be re-worked until it can manage all anticipated tasks. Any modifications are always worked through with the client in case they go elsewhere for production run. We catch many mistakes and our clients appreciate this front-end rule checking which saves them money down the road. 

Imagineering Offers Guaranteed Quality

Your PCBs will meet the same standards mandatory by aerospace and military applications, however, your pricing will be affordable and in-line with your requirements.

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