Design for Excellence (DfX) is built into the design and manufacturing process of all the best EMS companies. But what goes into it? If you’ve heard about it and want to learn more, then this blog post is for you. Here’s what DfX means to Asteelflash, and the different design cycles that constitute it:
What is DfX? A Quick Definition
DfX is a product engineering methodology. It’s a systematic approach to optimizing product cost, quality, and time to market. Following the DfX method throughout a New Product Introduction (NPI) process can improve Return On Investment (ROI), as safety checks exist throughout the process of bringing your electronic product to mass production and market.
A Closer Look at DfX
To design a new product, your electronic manufacturing services (EMS) partner should work with you to determine or create :
- Electronic design : Including the choice architecture, components, schematic, and layout.
- Software design : Including the Board Support Package (BSP) for the microcontroller, the embedded software and the C language.
- Mechanical design : Including choice of mechanical concept, a CAD 3D drawing and the choice of materials.
Design for Excellence is a series of methods and checks performed at various stages of the product’s life cycle, to ensure optimized outcomes :
- Design for Manufacturing : Your EMS partner ensures the manufacturability of components, and that the company is able to complete the assembly process. DfM can involve: analyzing the circuitry, design and layout of your PCB; ensuring the footprint is in line with the reference from the Bill of Materials; and a close analysis of materials, tooling, environment, testing and tolerances.
- Design for Cost/Procurement : DfC/DfP consists of several cost-controlling techniques applied throughout the manufacturing lifecycle. A DfC/DfP review helps identify and qualify alternative component parts which perform the same function as one’s already determined. This minimizes production delays in case of shortages of parts, and optimizes lead times on individual components.
- Design for Testability : This analyzes the test coverage of your PCB layout, and develops the right tools to efficiently test the boards while in production. DfT ensures your products will meet the predetermined quality standards.
- Design for Assembly : DfA ensures smooth assembly of your PCB and that physical layout rules are met before the prototype is built. During this process, mechanical items such as plastic casing and CNC machining parts are optimized.
What are the Benefits of Design for Excellence ?
When designing a new product, you aim to produce high quality with the best price for the market, with the latest technology and design principles. At Asteelflash, we use Design for Excellence to do just that.
Partnering with an EMS company that’s also an expert in DfX will optimize your manufacturing process — saving you time and money. By approaching your project holistically, costs are reduced outright through an efficient design and manufacturing process that also minimizes the chance of product failure.
For instance, it helped us design a market-competitive avalanche transceiver and secure certification across the EU and North America. With Design for Excellence, we developed the electronic and mechanical components, and embedded software to create an improved product at lower cost-to-market.