A lot of things can go wrong if design engineers don’t take manufacturability into consideration. Not taking manufacturability into consideration during the design process tends to drive manufacturing costs up quickly. And if a device works but is too expensive to market, that can be just as bad as if the device failed.
-Steve Santoro, MICRO
A recently published article in Medical Device and Diagnostic Industry (MD+DI) featured MICRO’s Steve Santoro and other industry experts discussing why design for manufacturability (DFM) is critical in medical device manufacturing. Santoro and other industry experts agreed that DFM is a process that needs to be top of mind at the earliest possible stage of the design process.
Santoro explained that many things can go wrong if design engineers don’t take manufacturability into consideration. Companies must work closely with their manufacturing partners, especially when it comes to tolerances on medical device features. If the tolerances are so tight there’s only a limited number of technologies that can be used to manufacture them.
Manufacturing costs tends to drive up quickly when manufacturability is not taken into consideration during the design process. Additionally, a device may work but be too expensive to market. Established companies with highly experienced engineers who play a vital role in the design and development process may be better equipped to manage risk than less experienced companies and those with high turnover.
Contract manufacturers need to be careful, however, not to presume they know more than they do, and to recognize when to take the lead from the customer. This is a balancing act that improves as both organizations collaborate and understand what each brings to the table.