How to Design your Industrial Product for Manufacturability

Brittany Beckmann 2 Comments

Manufacturability has a strong impact on who you choose as a manufacturer, cost and lead time, all of which control a vast majority of your project. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to change everything about your ideal industrial product. In most cases, designing for manufacturability results in a series of small changes that will benefit both you and your manufacturer.

Design for Processes

Regardless of where you have your industrial product manufactured, you should always expect some changes to accommodate for your manufacturer’s processes and tooling sets. Take setup, for example. Setups can be time-consuming, so the less difficulty involved, the faster the device will flow through production.
Consider the following improve manufacturability:

Common Materials

Our design engineers recommend using blanks to their full potential. You will want to discuss your manufacturer’s capabilities regarding this area.

Similar press brake setups and tooling

As about your manufacturer’s punch and turret press capabilities. In some cases, your manufacturer may be able to punch a flange as opposed to using a press brake.

Eliminate large differences in fixtures and sizes of hardware

For example, an engineer may design a product so that the assembler only needs one size wrench. This is especially useful if the end-user will be assembling the product on site.

Welding and Assembly

Keep your manufacturer’s processes in mind when considering a few other alterations in welding and assembly that will not only improve manufacturability but may also save you money.

  • Don’t weld what can be bent
  • Utilize slot tabs and quick clips
  • Limit the number of fasteners—leverage rivets
  • Size restrictions of painting and finishing sites
  • Use locating pins whenever able
  • If you plan on painting your product, make sure there’s a place to hang it

Design for Quality

When it comes down to the actual fabrication of your industrial product—whether it’s an enclosure, chassis, drive or kiosk—there are a few details that might improve the quality of your project. For instance, if a piece of steel can be symmetrical, make it so. That way, even if there is a fabrication mishap—stamped on the wrong side or flipped while bending—it won’t become a quality issue. Similarly, if a part is asymmetrical, make it clearly asymmetrical, so it’s easy for fabrication workers to orientate.

Understandably, some projects may have parts that are symmetrical but can’t be flipped or switched. In cases like this, our engineers will laser an “R” or “L” on the part, which helps formers, painters, assemblers and ultimately increases quality overall.

Lastly, make sure your bend radiuses are compatible with holes or any other features that may be distorted by forming.

Multipurpose Designs

To the benefit of you, design engineers and your manufacturer, don’t count out some multipurpose options open to you. Have discussions with your industrial designers and engineers about integrating multiple configurations.

At HUI, all of our engineers have extensive experience in manufacturing and know all the ins and outs of industrial manufacturability, so you still get the product you’ve always wanted while still being compatible with our manufacturing processes.

Do you have an industrial project in mind? Or perhaps a redesign? A question or two? Comment below or contact us today for the industrial product of your dreams.

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