Design for manufacturing (DFM) is a critical concept that all manufacturers, ranging from wire harness manufacturers to cable assembly manufacturers, must master in order to achieve commercial success. DFM relates to designing a part of a product, a specific service, or even a particular manufacturing process with ease of manufacturability in mind—in short, DFM allows a product to be manufactured quickly without any loss in quality. DFM, or in this case design for cable assembly manufacturing, can help to ensure product quality, reduced manufacturing and delivery times, and an overall reduction in costs associated with manufacturing certain products. Manufacturers interested in exploring design for cable assembly manufacturing should make sure to keep the following points in mind.
Keep The Design Simple
When it comes to effective design for cable assembly manufacturing, it’s critical that manufacturers focus on keeping the product’s design as simple as possible. In other words, the design should be relatively straightforward, and it should also use a limited amount of parts. As a design becomes more complicated and incorporates an increasing number of parts, the time required to manufacture said product also increases. While a more complicated design might work for very specific, niche products, planning your design for cable assembly manufacturing in mind can help to keep resource expenditures down for more common items.
Use Standardized Materials
Using standardized materials as often as possible, along with interchangeable parts or materials among products, can help to limit the amount of time needed for manufacturing. Not only does standardization minimize the amount of inventory diversity—thus making it easy to sort resources—but standardization also makes automation a lot simpler, which can translate to higher production volumes.
Ease of Fabrication and Handling
This is a rather straightforward concept. Basically, when it comes to design for cable assembly manufacturing, a manufacturer should ensure that all components utilized for manufacturing have been chosen with ease of fabrication in mind. This goes beyond standardization or simple designs: all components to be used for product manufacturing (like cable assembly manufacturing or wire harness manufacturing) need to be designed with higher volume in mind, and they should also be designed so they’re simple to fix and install—this means that components shouldn’t have undercuts, thin walls, or tapers, and the components should be manufactured using standardized tools with minimal finishing requirements, making it much easier to replicate in a pinch.
Design and Assembly Flowing in One Direction
Manufacturers should always design and engineer cable assemblies so it’s clear exactly how these items should be installed or assembled. In other words, to guarantee effective design for cable assembly manufacturing, the components need to be designed in such a way that there is only one possible way for them to be installed. This assists with limiting the possibilities for mistakes, which can help to save time, money, and resources.
Basically, all assemblies should be made to last—and this is vital for cable assembly and wire harness manufacturing, in particular. Not only does this increase a product’s shelf life, but also if any errors occur during the handling or assembly process, the components should be able to withstand any unplanned pressures or bumps.
Automation Production in Mind
Lastly, if a manufacturer wants to practice efficient design for cable assembly manufacturing, they must invest in automation. Automation is ideal for straightforward processes like product assembly. Obviously, automation is less flexible than manual assembly, so all assemblies and harnesses need to be designed in such a way as to guarantee rapid manufacturing: in other words, components need to be simple, interchangeable, easily manipulated, and designed with closed parts to help avoid catching on anything.
When manufacturers practice design for cable assembly manufacturing, they can save time and money while also generating a top-notch product. When a company designs for manufacturing, they’re basically ensuring that their products can be assembled quickly and effectively with minimal errors—this helps to save time, cut down on wasted resources, and it also helps to protect quality control, since all resources and components used are standardized. In short, practicing design for cable assembly manufacturing can help a manufacturer to become more competitive and productive as a whole, which in turn, can greatly benefit their bottom line.