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3 Common Mistakes to Avoid when Designing for Manufacturing

When it comes to designing products for manufacturing, it requires a mentality that is to be careful for designing parts with requirements in mind. Consideration actions early is a great practice. Its less likely that you will have to return to designing for major changes later on. This will save you on time and money.

Here are some common mistakes when designing for manufacturing that are easily avoidable. Saving time and money will greatly help in the end over the lifecycle of a product.

Machine Capabilities

Knowing your machines will help out greatly in the long run. A great practice when working with a customer is to offer a tour of the business. This will show the customer what kind of equipment they will be working with. Another great practice is to have an equipment list provided on your website. This will give them a jump start for the knowledge of your equipment, even if they are not available for a tour of your shop. This shows how the company likes to work, their specialties, and the materials they (you) can process.

Having a cheat sheet for what your machines capabilities are like:

  • Bend Tolerance
  • Sheet Metal Max Thicknesses
  • Sheet Metal Max Sizes
  • etc.

These examples and more are always beneficial to the customer so they know how big or small of a project they can work with you on.

Lack of Detail in Part Specifications

The more the information is always better than less the information. If you receive a part that shows a drawing with no dimensions, you probably won’t be able to do the job. Unless its something like a job for painting the part. Then the information that’s in the drawing just might be enough.

Another example if a customer requests to have a part made of “aluminum”. Just saying “aluminum” is not enough, as it doesn’t offer enough information. There are different types of aluminum like 3003, 1001, and 6061. Be sure to have as much information you can get from the customer when working on a job for them. It will benefit you in the long run.

Material and Sizes

This follows under what was mentioned earlier. There are so many different types of metals out there. Be sure to communicate with the customer to getting the precise type of material needed for the job. This will help greatly, so you know what to work with for the equipment you are supplying. Same goes for size. Let’s say the customer gives you a part and, in their request, they would like to have a sheet metal thickness of 2 inches. They did not relay this information to you, but your equipment will handle a max of 1 inch. This would result in a job that you would not be able to work on. Communicate with the customer and be sure you have the information you need to perform the job.

These types of tips will barely scratch the surface but are a great awareness approach to making sure you have a job that is successful and a relationship with the customer. And remember, like any good working relationship, communication is key.

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