Design for manufacture (DFM) is concerned with defining product design alternatives which facilitate optimization of the manufacturing system as a whole. Recognized as being essential to productivity improvement, interest in the DFM approach has risen dramatically as the result of recent experience with deployment of advanced manufacturing technology. This article critically examines the broad range of activities which are embodied in the DFM approach. Discussion is divided into consideration of DFM principles and rules, quantitative evaluation methodologies, and computer-aided DFM. Underlying organization issues are also discussed.

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