Securing Manufacturing Cost Controls Through Design Improvements
- By: Marc Anderes
Manufacturing cost reduction through design optimization encompasses a few steps in the beginning. As you would expect, each step creates different challenges to be faced.
Outsourcing part of the manufacturing work is an alternative that is often considered. Some parts for a product might be expensive to manufacture, as well as buying new machinery specifically to make one specific part. This by no means a new idea, but when attempting to create a manufacturing cost reduction through design optimization, it is important to consider the quality of the output by an outsourcing company. If the quality is good enough and they can meet the schedule, then it is worth considering. However, a clear quality assurance program, co-ordination of production and any shipping arrangements must be agreed upon before such a relationship is entered into and handled throughout any job; long-term or short. Over-production by the other party can lead to storage and material handling issues. If this were to occur during production it could lead to your manufacturing schedule being thrown into chaos. Business relationships like these can be risky and involve a deep trust, and possibly a few penalties for missing deadlines.
Designing for manufacturing is another method that is sometimes used by manufacturers to attain a manufacturing cost reduction through design optimization. Rather than design a product and set up the production process and machines to better fit the product, DFM works the opposite way around. When incorporating DFM, the manufacturer will consider their current machine set-up and design the product in a such a way that it can be easily produced. This is an improvement in productivity and increases profit while lowering overheads such as new machinery. The results of DFM are a quicker from drawing board to market time, improved efficiency and savings on research and development.
Marketers can also play an important role in manufacturing cost reduction through design optimization. With new techniques in material production and shipping always being a source of overhead, a good vender should have many cost cutting suggestions. While the manufacturer knows their production process better than any vendor can, the vendor will surely have a better grasp on materials than most manufacturers. Even if he or she is unable to give any useful advice straight off, they might in the near future.
Understanding the needs of every department is another way to reduce cost and optimize both productivity and quality. No one knows the needs of a department better than the those who work there day in, day out. Taking their advice on how costs can be cut without reducing quality can be an excellent idea. Many companies provide incentives to workers who are able to resolve the problem of how to cut costs and boost efficiency.
The point of manufacturing cost reduction through design optimization is to save money and decrease the overhead. Reducing the costs of materials, Simplifying the manufacturing process and increasing the efficiency of the manufacturing process are the best ways to do this. Manufacturing cost reduction through design optimization can benefit almost any company. But only if it does not adversely affect the quality of the product. A decrease in production quality could turn out to be more costly than the money being saved.
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Marc Anderes is the Vice President of Operations of Maloya Laser which specializes in Metal Manufacturing¬ and Laser Cutting¬ with advanced laser technologies, servicing aerospace, scientific, transportation, medical and machinery needs.