Design for Manufacturability (DFM)
Seminar and Workshops

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For more about DFM, see


Tentative baseline list of topics to be covered:

OPENING DISCUSSION ON PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT CULTURE, based on anonymous pre-seminar surveys to be filled out by attendees. Survey topics: Rating company products for DFM; Good and bad products & sub-assemblies; Consequences of bad DFM; Hurdles to good DFM; and Opportunities.

DESIGN FOR MANUFACTURABILITY, based on the experience of 55 in-house DFM seminars , 16 public DFM courses, and Dr. Andersonís first book, Design for Manufacturability, Optimizing Cost, Quality, and Time-to-Market, and the book he is writing, "Developing Products at Half the Cost." Topics include:

C The importance and benefits of DFM as a tool for good product development; Examples of good DFM practices

C DFM principles and how they can be applied to the company products

C Motivations for engineers to practice DFM

C Low-cost product development; minimizing the cost of parts, labor, and overhead by design. This includes new material on cutting product cost in half from Dr. Anderson's forthcoming book on Half Cost Products.

C Time and cost savings of utilizing off-the-shelf hardware; flexibility benefits

C Design simplification to consolidate structural parts

C Optimizing product design by satisfying all design considerations; Brainstorming

C Do-it-right-the-first-time techniques; How this takes much less time than fixing things later

C Assuring quality and reliability by design; optimizing tolerances; the cumulative effect of part quality and quantity on product quality

ADVANCED PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT METHODOLOGIES, based on the graduate course taught in the Management of Technology Program at the University of California at Berkeley.

C The importance of a clear product definition to satisfy the "voice of the customer" (using QFD) and optimizing product architecture, which determines 60% of a products cumulative lifetime cost

C Product line planning, prioritizing, and rationalization, which can raise profits in the current quarter by shifting focus to high-leverage products and eliminating money-draining products. It can also free up valuable resources as product line rationalization eliminates high-overhead ("fire drill") products.

C Real concurrent engineering of a consistent product/production system; The value of early participation of multi-functional team members; How to resolve resource availability constraints; How New Product Development teamwork can resolve issues early, when they are easier to resolve; Feedback mechanisms for gathering input from customers, manufacturing, vendors, and field service

C Minimizing time-to-market and, when applied with mass customization principles, ultra-fast time-to-market, where "new" products are really planned "variations-on-a-theme"

C Decision making based on total cost accounting (ABC) and its effect on product pricing, product line planning, standardization, and product development decisions; Easy implementation approaches using cost-drivers to quickly improve product costing

ACTION PLAN SESSION, where attendees discuss and answer the question, "What should happen next?" After several flip charts have been filled with attendees comments, the attendees vote their preferences. This becomes the basis for the half-day of follow-up consulting on implementation.


Product-Specific Workshop

Facilitator: Dr. David M. Anderson, P.E., CMC

    A very high-leverage option is the one-day product-specific workshop, which immediately applies the methodologies of the seminar to a specific product development project. The audience would be the newly formed project team. This is a effective way to get a new product development project "off on the right foot" and help the team optimize product architecture to design in manufacturability, low-cost, modularity, quality, and reliability.

    The agenda would consist of a series of planned brainstorming sessions to encourage the team to explore many ways to implement the principles of the seminar (therefore the workshop should follow the seminar). These exercises themselves would be the start of many actual tasks, which would be continued after the workshop. Experience has shown that product development teams typically under-emphasize and miss opportunities related to the crucial early steps, like defining the product to meet the voice of the customer (QFD), really concurrently engineering the manufacturing processes, and optimizing product architecture, which, as the seminar will show, determines 60% of a products cumulative lifetime cost. As the seminar will also show, doing thorough up-front work is the key to cutting in half the time-to-market (as measured to time to ramped, stable production).

    After one workshop at Hewlett-Packard, two team members asked the team leader if Dr. Anderson had worked for the competition (which he hadnít) because his agenda was so thorough and useful.

    The timing of product-specific workshops should be just as the team has formed and is about to start. If it is too early, there might not be enough focus, interest, or "critical mass." If it is too late, there may already be too many decisions already "cast in concrete" for creative optimization. Often, these workshops are held the day after the seminar while the material is fresh and enthusiasm is high. Alternatively, workshops can be scheduled whenever a new team is beginning a product development project.

For more about DFM, see

Call or e-mail to discuss the possibilities:

Dr. David M. Anderson, P.E., CMC
Management Consultant
Build-to-Order Consulting
phone: 1-805-924-0100
fax: 1-805-924-0200

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