How do companies create the designs for their products, and what makes them eventually decide on the best design? For most manufacturers, design for manufacturing – or DFM – is the process they use to optimize the part design before production. DFM achieves its objective through collaboration between the molder, the tool manufacturer, and the part designer, allowing all parties to determine the optimal design when creating a plastic component.
Design for manufacturing begins early in the design process before starting any tooling or molding. Engineers, designers, manufacturers and suppliers should all be involved in the DFM process from the beginning, offering input and making necessary changes early on. Through this collaboration, the plastic part is designed efficiently, with optimal moldability, and with quality in mind.
Reducing Manufacturing Costs
Cost-effectiveness is one of the main concerns customers have when starting the manufacturing process of a new plastic component; however, optimizing the part design from the beginning allows for more controlled costs, avoiding costly part and tooling redesigns late in the process. Figuring out a component design can be tricky due to the increasing complexity of plastic injection molded parts in general: as components grow more complex, the part and tooling prices tend to increase. By adding consideration to all aspects of the molding process, design for manufacturing can help identify areas where the customer can save money in the long-run by optimizing the part design, ultimately reducing costs.
What to Consider for Design Optimization
Optimizing parts for a unique application is a necessary aspect of the DFM process, with collaboration being critical when optimizing any plastic component. Before finalizing the design of a plastic component, there are several considerations to make, and DFM allows everybody in the production process to weigh in on what would be best for the part in question. The type of resin material used for the component is critical since different plastic types offer distinct qualities, such as chemical resistance, strength, moisture resistance, and heat resistance. Material shrinkage, the draft angle of the mold, the uniformity of the wall thickness, and even the surface finish are all essential elements to consider during the DFM process.
DFM at Westec Plastics
The professionals at Westec Plastics work together with the customer, part designers, toolmakers, and suppliers to get the best results every time. When working with our customers on each project, we present a comprehensive DFM report, including mold-flow analysis, quality prediction analysis, and a tool design review. Before moving forward with the tooling process, we collaborate with the customer to examine and review each of the critical areas identified in the DFM report, the part design and material required, mold construction material, and the quantities of parts required, which all factor in the final mold design. Upon completion of the DFM process and mold design review, the final customer’s approval is required before fabrication of the injection mold tooling begins, ensuring that Westec Plastics has taken into consideration all critical aspects of the project and incorporated the critical elements into the final design.
Why Choose Westec Plastics for your project?
At Westec Plastics, we believe the value of partnerships is vital to success, and reinforces our motto of “Your Concept, Our Expertise, One Partnership”. Collaborating with our customers is what drives us, ensuring your product is the optimal design, and made with the best material at the lowest possible price. As your trusted partner, Westec delivers quality parts the first time, on time, every time.
For over 50 years, Westec has set the standard for custom plastic injection molding in the San Francisco Bay area. With our newly refurbished 46,000 sq. ft. facility and our talented team of plastic molding experts, we deliver high-quality plastic injection molded components with the help of our specialized DFM process.
To learn more about how we can help you with DFM for your next custom injection molding project, contact Westec today.