DFX or DFMA [Design for Manufacture and Assembly] is a design approach that focuses on ease of manufacture and efficiency of assembly. By simplifying the design of a product, it is possible to manufacture and assemble it more efficiently, in the minimum time and at a lower cost. It is also known as DFX where ‘X’ is a variable either for manufacturing or assembly. 

In this article, you are going to learn about DFM and DFA, Objectives and Procedure of DFMA. You will also learn Why DFMA is necessary and the companies using it.


According to Wikipedia, DFMA stands for Design for Manufacture and Assembly. It is the combination of two methodologies; Design for Manufacture, which means the design for ease of manufacture of the parts that will form a product, and Design for Assembly, which means the design of the product for ease of assembly. 


  • DFA involves design for a product’s ease of assembly. It is concerned with reducing the product assembly cost and minimizing the number of assembly operations.
  • DFM involves designing for the ease of manufacture of a product’s constituent parts. It is concerned with selecting the most cost-effective materials and processes to be used in production and minimizing the complexity of the manufacturing operations.

Design for Assembly (DFA)

  • Concerned only with reducing product assembly cost.
  • Minimizes the number of assembly operations.
  • Individual parts tend to be more complex in design.
  • Seek to reduce material, overhead, and labor cost.

Design for Manufacturing (DFM)

  • Concerned with reducing overall part production cost.
  • MInimizes the complexity of manufacturing operations.
  • Uses common datum features and primary axes.
  • Seek to reduce material, over, and labor cost.


The objective of DFMA is to achieve higher quality, lower cost, improved application of automation and better maintainability. Here are few must follow guideline in order to achieve this objective.

  • Minimize part count.
  • Design parts with self-locating features.
  • Design parts with self-fastening features.
  • Minimize reorientation of parts during assembly.
  • Design parts for retrieval, handling, and insertion.
  • Emphasize “Top-Down” assemblies.
  • Minimize use of fasteners.
  • Encourage modular design.
  • Design for base part to locate other components.
  • Design for component symmetry for insertion.


The following steps are followed when DFMA used in the design process:-

  • DFA analysis leading to simplification of the product structure.
  • Early cost estimation of parts for both original design and modified design.
  • Use of best process & material.
  • After final selection of material and process carry out a thorough analysis of DFM.

DFMA Procedure


At the present time products are:-
– Tending to become more complex.
– Made/required in an increasingly large number.
– Intended to satisfy a wide variation in the user population.
– Required to compete aggressively with similar products.
– Required to consistently high quality.

With this in mind, DFMA is adapted to produce competitively priced, high-performance product at a minimal cost. The are several advantages of applying DFMA during product design. Few of them are as follows:-

  • Speed – One of the primary advantages of DfMA in construction is the significantly reduced programme on-site through the use of prefabricated elements.
  • Lower assembly cost – By using fewer parts, decreasing the amount of labor required, and reducing the number of unique parts, DfMA can significantly lower the cost of assembly.
  • Higher quality and sustainability – A highly automated approach can enhance quality and efficiency at each stage. There may be less waste generation in the construction phase, greater efficiency in site logistics, and a reduction in vehicle movements transporting materials to the site.
  • Shorter assembly time – DFMA shortens assembly time by utilizing standard assembly practices such as vertical assembly and self-aligning parts. DFMA also ensures that the transition from the design phase to the production phase is as smooth and rapid as possible.
  • Increased reliability – DFMA increases reliability by lowering the number of parts, thereby decreasing the chance of failure.
  • Safety – By removing construction activities from the site and placing them in a controlled factory environment there is the possibility of a significant positive impact on safety.

Top Companies using DFMA [ Check Source ] 

Traditionally, DFX has been applied to sectors such as the design of automotive and consumer products, both of which need to efficiently produce high-quality products in large numbers. Few top companies using DFMA are as follows:-

  • Boeing / Lockheed Martin / Northrop
  • Grumman / McDonnell Douglas 
  • Hewlett-Packard 
  • Ford / GM / Chrysler 
  • Texas Instruments
  • Toy manufacturers 
  • Your future employer 
  • The list goes on and on…

Examples [ Check Source ] 

Although, every company uses DFX to increase their productivity & lower their cost. Here are few real DFMA examples to prove how effective it can be.

Longbow Apache Helicopter
  • Pilot Instrument Panel: 
    Fabrication/Assembly/Installation time reduced from 697 hours to 181! 
  • Co-Pilot Instrument Panel: 
    Part count 12, down from 87 Part count 12, down from 87
  • 9 million components, 1 million man has to build 9 million components, 1 million man has to build
  • DFMA on landing gear bulkhead went from 72 detail parts and 1,720 fasteners to 2 parts and 35 fasteners! (McDonnell Douglas)

As a matter of fact, every manufacturing industry follows DFX in order to increase their profit margin. Moreover, different manufacturing industry follows different DFMA. Whether it be a Sheet Metal Industry or a Plastic Industry the DFMA for both the industries is different.


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