In pursuit of achieving a part with new and better functionality at an optimized price, a lot of consideration is invested into a design. But often times, the consideration does not include ‘safety’. Even when it does include ‘safety’ considerations, the end users of the final product are usually preferred over the ones who would actually be the part of the manufacturing process. In the era of automation, minimal workforce often translates into minimal human interference (or, participation), but the eminent nature of safety standards doesn’t become any less!
An excellent design engineer is one who takes this minute detail into consideration at the time of designing a part. They strive to meet the product safety standards both for end users and participative users. A certain amount of creativity and caution goes into designing a part with other aspects like hassle-free assembly, cost of production, logistics involved and essentially achieving all of these without compromising the quality.
While these earlier were the sole responsibility of operators and users, today with gargantuan technological improvements, a good amount of responsibility lies with design engineers as well. For instance, using an intuitive software with safe-stop feature, which abruptly halts part manufacture at the time of issue detection (minor or otherwise), or on detection of a failure, breaking the pattern of mindless redundancy is the need of the hour. Further to these, a shareable report documenting the failure instances leaving room for safety standard (to the existing ones) improvements is a fetching point.
Features (or designs) which tightrope on safety measures are often difficult to manufacture thereby, adding to the manufacturing cost . Such situations can be avoided by opting for a software assistant which provides recommendations on safety for both the maker and end user of the product. Among the plethora of design rules applicable for a part, following rules can be categorized as ‘safety’ rules-
1. Knife Edge
This sheet metal rule, as its name suggests checks a part for sharp edges which not only prove to be dangerous but also require special machining attention, adding to the cost of manufacturing a part. A software can check the knife edge on a part and suggests design alternatives spelling a win-win situation for both parties- designers and manufacturers.
2. Minimum Corner Radius
As all sharp objects, each sharp corner needs to have a certain degree of radius for safety at time of handling such parts – a minimum corner radius relative to the sheet thickness not only helps in manufacturing but also acts as a safety measure.
3. Chamfered Hole Edges
Burrs and sharp edges increase unwanted friction. Hole edges with either of the two (burrs/sharp edges) are always less preferable. Such holes negatively impact a part at the time of assembly. Providing hole edges with chamfers is a simple way to prevent such situations. All in all, ensuring an easy to manufacture and easy to assemble part with special attention to safety!
These are just a few simple examples showing how safety and profitability go hand in hand, both serving the purpose of being integral pillars of an organization.These small steps add upto a mile-a mile of profitability, a mile away from redundancy, a mile into a safe and secure environment.
Can you think of any more examples? Do write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Take a look at how DFMPro can help you in your endeavour to address manufacturability and safety requirements!