Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
Among the definitions of DFM — Design for Manufacturability or Manufacture — one characteristic they all cover is that DFM should facilitate upstream manufacturability and validation by identifying difficult, expensive, or non-manufacturable designs early in the process. But for you hands-on types, chances are excellent that you define DFM as a bee in your manager's bonnet that stung you right after the boss was yelled at because you messed up a rule that nobody even heard of before the boss got chewed out. DFMPro from Geometric gets everyone using the same rulebook.
Actually, DFMPro gets everyone using the same library, then it automates the DFM process so that designers do not have to remember or figure out the capabilities of some machine halfway around the world. In a nutshell, DFMPro enables you to take in the knowledge in somebody's head and build libraries of rules that become the standard operating procedures of your organization.
How DFMPro does that is by creating an iterative approach to the design process that seeks feedback on manufacturability issues from — get this — the manufacturing department early in the cycle before corrections become a nightmare. As this knowledge is captured, your repository of knowledge swells. From this knowledge base, you can use DFMPro to configure rules and procedures that automatically and interactively check a design's compatibility with manufacturing processes. You can run reports and all that too. But the important thing is that, over time, your organization develops a repeatable level of basic design quality.
This means both fewer manufacturing change orders and higher quality because designers, for once knowing the limits manufacturing, are freed to innovate within defined parameters. Further, the boss will have one less excuse to get honked off at you. (OK, I'm being a little optimistic on that last one.)
DFMPro 2008 EX integrates with SolidWorks; and a Pro/Engineer version is under development. You can learn more about DFMPro from today's Pick of the Week write-up, where you'll find links to videos, data sheets, and evaluation unit sign-ups. If you care about quality and having an efficient design for manufacturing process, then you should check out DFMPro. It helps you get designs right the first time.
Thanks, Pal. — Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering Magazine