How Designing for Manufacturability Can Lower Total Cost
In the world of Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) machining, the objective of designing for manufacturability is to create components at a lower cost and for easier assembly. Cost of CNC manufacturing is driven by time, so to lower machining costs, time must be reduced for certain machining functions. This includes reducing the number of operations, the set-up time required for each, and the type and amount of material that must be removed from the raw bar stock or tube to achieve the finished component.
The Design for Manufacturability process can be reduced to five essential focus areas:
- COMPONENTS: Reduce the total number of parts so that there are fewer items to machine, purchase, inventory, process and assemble.
- MODULAR DESIGN: Utilize a modular design to simplify the testing and inspection processes, along with improving maintenance and service.
- STANDARD PARTS: If purchase parts can be limited to off-the-shelf components, the purchase price can be lowered and lead times can be shortened.
- MULTI-PURPOSE: Parts that are multi-functional reduce the total number of parts required, and help drive down manufacturing costs.
- SIMPLICITY: Keeping fabrication and assembly simple means reducing processes or design requirements that add little value to the usability and function of the product. Examples may be a design that calls for excessively tight tolerances or one that requires a surface finish that is smoother than necessary.
The final cost of a product is directly proportional to the number of parts. Reducing the number of parts increases product quality and reliability. The total number of parts in a product is a key indicator of design quality.
By designing new products from the ground up, the engineering team at Citadel is taking a fresh look at improving efficiency in all designs and processes. Component geometries can be designed for speed, tested for functionality and qualified for dependability.
An example is the groove that is required in float equipment to hold cement in place. The team at Citadel performed trial testing on seven groove designs and geometries to find the optimal configuration that resulted in the least amount of machining time, yet still met all required specifications. They were not tied to a fixed groove design or configuration that had been developed years ago, or a design that must continue to be utilized in its current form to satisfy internal requirements for product line consistency.
At Citadel Casing Solutions, our goal is to revitalize the casing equipment sector, delivering the ultimate in wellbore integrity with the most innovative and progressive tools and downhole products. We live in an engineering-based culture where customer needs come first. We thrive on designing elegant products, solving downhole challenges, and improving our customer’s operational success.