Generally speaking, Design for Manufacturability (DfM) — or Design for Manufacturing — is the process of consciously and proactively designing products to optimize all facets of manufacturing.
DfM methodology aligns engineering and production in the design phase, ensuring cost and time efficiencies, superior quality, regulatory compliance, and end-user satisfaction. Problems are identified and addressed early in the product development process, preventing costly issues that could impact manufacturability: raw materials selection, tolerances, and secondary processing.
The quality of plastic components is, in part, determined by the injection molder you choose. Properly vetting new, different, or specialized vendors involves qualifying a pool of potential injection molding partners.
As technologies and expectations surrounding complex applications continue to advance, OEMs are seeking deeper and more versatile relationships with custom injection molders. Often, part of the vetting process involves verification that the injection molder holds industry-specific certifications.
In the manufacturing world, “lean” principles reduce inventory and work in process, improve quality, boost productivity, and ultimately lower costs. Lean originated in Japan decades ago and has been readily embraced in manufacturing sectors around the world, especially the automotive industry.
With increasing global competitiveness, lean principles have never been more important for making U.S. companies competitive. One of the most simple yet effective lean tools is value stream mapping, which can be implemented within days and can reap impressive results in a short period of time.
U.S. manufacturing in a variety of industries has gained traction in recent years. Counterbalancing the business uptick many are experiencing, however, is the strain of a workforce in transition.
Snap-fit designs can be an effective way to replace fasteners/hardware in injection-molded plastic parts or products. For most applications, snap-fit connections are the simplest and most cost-effective way to assemble two parts — making them ideal for high-volume production. The quick and easy connections help reduce the risk of improper assembly, which occurs more frequently in applications that require more components (fasteners) and tools.
With speed to market being a top priority for many OEMs today, manufacturers are constantly looking for ways to make their processes quicker and more efficient. In 2018, this often means having certain tasks automated by robots, software, or other machines, and the injection molding industry is no different.
It's almost impossible to imagine a world without plastic injection molded components. They turn up in just about everything we use, and most of us aren’t even aware of their presence, or the amount of technical expertise that has been used to produce them. From the first glimmer of an idea to the production of the finished product, there is a chain of knowledge that has been incorporated into their design and manufacture, and this process doesn't happen by chance; it's the culmination of many years of experience by highly trained and skilled designers and engineers.
Are you considering injection molding for the production of a current or upcoming plastic parts project? If so, you came to the right place. Injection molding is the ideal process for the production of a wide range of complex plastic components, and can benefit OEMs across many different industries. It’s consistent, affordable, and creates durable, high-quality plastic parts that can withstand just about any environment.