A friend from Canada mentioned the DFM is a buzz word in manufacturing back home. He asked me if DFM was hot in China too. I know DFM means “Design for Manufacturing” but I wasn’t sure about the China situation and to learn more I asked an expert. Here is what I found.
Former Microsoft Engineer talks DFM
According to my friend Paul from Holland (former engineer of peripherals at Microsoft and current manager/owner of www.VentureTech.info in China), I was correct that DFM stands for “Design For Manufacturing” or “design for manufacture” or “manufacturer”, but regardless of the “ing” or “er” he stressed that under DFM the manufacturing process dictates the design.
In other words, the DFM process heavily depends on the project economics, volumes, budget, target costs and so forth to come up with a design that makes the most of manufacturing techniques availble. These economics play out very differently in China than in the West obviously. For example, a product that was DFM-ed in USA for American production techniques may not be the best design for running the parts in China.
DFM & DF-China
You are wise to be thinking about DFM, but if you hire a 3rd party to do your DFM and assuming you want to run the parts in China, then you should hire an engineering firm well versed in “China- DFM” rather than simply engage a DFM expert. Paul also added that the costs of production go up in China, more and more factories are getting serious about DFM as a way of meeting client targets for price and quality while keeping scrap and labor down.
This ties into “green manufacturing” and if you are interested in a full article on DFM and Green engineering, you may enjoy Paul’s article in the May “green issue” of the China Sourcer e-mag availble for download at www.ChinaSourcingInfo.org
Wishing you successful China Sourcing!
Author, “The Essential Reference Guide to China Sourcing” (chinasourcinginfo.org/book/)