Design for Manufacturability
& Assembly (DFMA)

Design for Manufacturability (DFM) and Design For ease of Assembly (DFA) are often combined into one all-encompassing technique called Design for Manufacturability & Assembly (DFMA). Both are terms used to describe the practice of improving a products design in such a way that it improves the manufacturability or ease of assembly.

Design for Manufacturability (DFM)

Design for Manufacturability (DFM) is the practice of designing a product in such a way that it is easy to manufacture.
When designing a product, it is important to understand how the product will be manufactured as certain manufacturing methods have limitations on what kinds of shapes, details, sizes or materials can be used.
Below is a list of some of the common manufacturing methods used today to manufacture most of the products we see around us.

RedOwl has experience designing products created using any of following manufacturing methods:

For plastics

Injection Moulding
  • Typically used for plastics (housings, consumer products, furniture components) and foam (furniture components)
Blow Moulding
  • Typically used for plastic bottles
Rotational Moulding (Roto-moulding)
  • Typically used for large scale applications such as large containers, furniture, or playground equipment.
Vacuum Forming
  • Cost effective method used for large, thin plastic parts
Production 3D printing
  • SLA – Stereolithography, FDM – Fused Deposition Modelling, SLS –
    Selective Laser Sintering)
  • Typically used for complex parts that cannot be manufactured easily
    using other methods

For metals

Metal fabrication
  • Cutting (Sawing, shearing, plasma, laser, water jet)
  • Forming (Sheet metal fabrication, sheet rolling, tube bending, etc.)
  • Machining (Including milling, turning, and drilling)
  • Welding (Traditional, induction, brazing, robotic welding)
  • Materials include steel, stainless steel, and aluminum
  • Used for a wide range of applications including furniture products
  • Aluminum extrusion, plastic extrusion
  • Typically seen in Architectural products and furniture products
Die Casting
  • Similar to injection moulding but for metal components (zinc, aluminum, for brackets, fittings, complex metal components)
Production 3D printing
  • SLS – Selective Laser Sintering
  • Typically used for complex metal parts that cannot be manufactured easily using other methods

For wood

Traditional wood working methods (saws, planers, jointers, shapers, sanders, etc.)
CNC (Computer Numerical Controlled) wood machining (typically used for furniture applications).
Common materials RedOwl has experience working with:
  • MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard)
  • Particle Board
  • Plywood
  • Hardwoods (Ash, Beech, Birch, Cherry, Maple, Oak,
  • Pine, Walnut, and more)
  • Wood veneers
  • Plastic laminates
  • Plastic edge banding

Design for
Assembly (DFA)

Design for Assembly (DFA) is the practice of designing a product in such a way that it is easy to assemble. There are a number of guidelines used during the design process that will make the assembly of the product easier, faster, cheaper, and safer.

RedOwl will consider all the following items when designing and engineering a product:

  • Minimize the need for tools for assembly
  • Minimize the number of tools used for assembly – it takes time and space to change tools
  • Minimize adjustments – It can be time consuming when a worker needs to “line something up” or adjust something so it fits
  • Use self-locating features or parts
  • Minimize the total number of parts – parts can have multiple functions
  • Minimize the number of different parts (SKUs)
  • Minimize “handed” or “non-symmetrical” parts – as they can be incorrectly assembled or cause extra time identifying the “direction” before assembling
  • Include identifiers on non-symmetrical parts to assist with orientation
  • Minimize the number of fasteners – a snap fit or pressure fit can be faster during assembly
  • Minimize the number of different types of fasteners – fasteners with different heads require different tools, similar fasteners can often be confused with one another
  • Locate fasteners in easily accessible areas with room for the tool to access them

our approach

RedOwl provides the expertise to help companies
to develop and execute an innovation strategy.

get in touch

Find out a bit more about our services,
we would love to hear from you!


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    20 Denbury Ct.
    Whitby, ON.
    L1M 0H5


    (416) 452-3310