DFM or “Design For Manufacturing”- Essential to Plastics Thermoforming

Lean Manufacturing is a Key Precept in DFM-

DFM is an abbreviation for Design for Manufacturing, which is a key concept in Lean Manufacturing.  It refers to the involvement of the part manufacturer, at the beginning of the design/development stage of thermoforming plastics.  Therefore we at ATI employ the concept of DFM to ensure that the part and its unique features can be manufactured robustly.  Hence, we are more easily able to make the part without errors during the manufacturing process. Additionally, our involvement is crucial in helping to avoid draw-ratio issues (excessive thinning), or trim tolerance issues that cannot be consistently adhered to.  Furthermore, the early involvement stage is where we can include suggestions for cost reductions.  Consequently, ATI considers our involvement at the early stages of a product’s development to be the first step in creating a successful product.

Tolerances Contribute to Driving Costs

Our machining costs are significantly driven by the geometric tolerances required for your part.  Thus, the tighter the tolerance required, the higher our costs will be.  Therefore, our goal is to help engineer components in creative ways, thus allowing for lower tolerances, resulting in lower costs.  We encourage our customers to specify the widest tolerance that will adequately serve the necessary function of the part.  To sum it up, we address, in early stages of design, factors that might affect the manufacturability of your part.  Especially relevant are things such as the type and form of material, dimensional tolerances, and secondary processes.  Finally, our ultimate goal is to deliver a better product than you expect, at the best possible cost.

Let us help design and manufacture your custom plastic part.  What more info? Contact us today! 


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