How Saving on Design Annihilates Manufacturing Costs
Welcome back to the blog! If you're new here, we publish cutting-edge design strategies, product development tips, & more on a weekly basis.
This week, like many of our clients, we felt burdened by rising manufacturing costs across all suppliers. Nowadays, $50 injection molded parts are running at $100+ with - shall we say, less than satisfying - delivery times.
It's important to identify precisely where costs can be cut - and as early as humanly possible - as avoiding those soul-crushing meetings with the finance department alone makes it worthwhile.
Fortunately, we've done the research for you. Our favorite source this week stems from a Tulip.co article entitled "Manufacturing Costs - How to Calculate (and Reduce) Your Production Costs" (pretty straightforward).
Basically, there are 5 core strategies you will need to implement ASAP to restore your manufacturing budget to breathable levels. Interestingly enough, all of these strategies employ cost-cutting at the design stage rather than purely the supply stage. Let's get into it.
1. Reduce your material costs.
This goes without saying - if Hasbro were to make their toys out of carbon fiber, we'd consider a 3-inch skitloader to be a luxury good.
There is absolutely ZERO justification or excuse for deferring material selection to the end of the design phase. These decisions make or break projects - but unfortunately, many design engineers are not conditioned to make any material-level decisions in DFM (design for manufacturing).
At Cadversity, we change that standard by integrating first-touch material selection during the model fulfillment process. We have actual engineers who care deeply about the material science umbrella.
2. Evaluate a supplier change.
If you don't like your neighbors, you can do 1 of 2 things:
1. Persuade them to move away
2. Move away
And no, you can't keep calling the cops unless an actual crime or noise complaint is in play. We didn't include the Karen route in our computations.
So, why do engineering firms settle for neighbors they dislike? Proximity isn't a variable - usually, it's a combination of familiarity with the existing design staging & some combination of cost and delivery terms.
"Oh, well we quoted with Shop A at only $400 when the others were asking us to pay $1,200, so I kind of don't want to migrate to Shop B. Also, they've had our drawings for 2 months now."
Two words: OPPORTUNITY. COST. Let go of the damn neighbors!
At Cadversity, you don't have to deal directly with people in the interim of design fulfillment. You hand off expectations, and we deliver on target, all while you sleep (or try to). It's our sincere hope that you can have a similar experience when it's time to get your product manufactured.
3. Use waste materials.
Paragraphs on global sustainability and waste stream elitism could be written here, but I'll save this kind of content for a simple point:
You either box and eat your leftovers, or you throw the rest of the plate out. There are 2 people in life.
If you're representing operations at some level on your team, you should want the leftovers. They are certainly not the tastiest after the first original meal, but they're still good, and they're functionally reheatable. (Unless we're talking about Taco Bell, for instance).
At Cadversity, we drive sustainability analysis deliverables as attachés to traditional CAD projects whenever desired & selected by the client. If you want to see if leftovers are even feasible, we can do that. And it's certainly time to consider this before you lose grip on potentially millions in material savings.
4. Automate processes.
If you've got an aluminum billet, and you walk manually to a milling machine, place it down manually, then clean it by hand, then deliver to another machine downstream, etc. - it's more than fair to say you're wasting the big bucks.
Every 21st-century manufacturing enterprise necessitates increasing automation for heightened turnover.
It's also critical, however, to automate as many processes as possible in the design phase to save money. At Cadversity, we have extremely robust back-end softwares which deliver you a fair, free project quote straight to your inbox using visual augmentation & other technologies. This is the long, fancy way of saying we're the Amazon Prime of design contracting.
5. Save your energy consumption.
Yes, this refers to the lightbulbs and water faucets.
But we'd also like to think that this applies to human energy, too. The more time your team wastes on the nitty gritty of design staging, file syncing, design cadence, & parameters, the more your human energy consumption explodes.
At Cadversity, our internal, certified design engineering contractors handle all of the "grey work". Once your design files are sent over, you can do with them as you'd like. But the point is - you won't be consuming that vital human energy necessary for last-phase validation efforts. After all, those sprints at the end necessitate 800 mg of daily caffeine consumption, so we'd like to be hands off on that.
As always, we're hoping you found this week's blog post beneficial. Spread the word, follow our socials - and we can't wait to help you with your next big project!
Your Cadversity Family