The term product design defines the design process of a new product that must be sold in a specific business, not only considering its aesthetic characteristics, but also its function and production cycle. Indeed, the product must meet the expectations of the end user and at the same time be in line with the production process.
Product design is a development process that needs to consider multiple aspects of components, so it is necessary to integrate various activities, such as co-design services, compile DFM, mold design, simulation, and further operational analysis.
In fact, product design is closely related to the design of the production process: these two concepts have a profound influence on each other. In fact, product design is developed according to the characteristics of the production method, and vice versa. Product design represents a complex and multi-faceted process, considering not only the product and production, but also the choice of materials, aesthetic and functional requirements, mechanical operation, surface treatment and required component quality.
In order to achieve balanced results in terms of aesthetics, functionality and feasibility, manufacturing companies usually develop product designs with customers. Cooperation between suppliers and customers is defined as a joint design service: cooperation aimed at promoting the sharing of information and know-how, with the goal of achieving the positive results of the project. Therefore, engineers can study the mechanical and physical characteristics of products to find solutions that ensure functionality and manufacturability to meet customer expectations.
Collaborative design services have advantages not only in process and design optimization, but also in the relationship between customers and suppliers: constant information exchange increases trust and dependence, not to mention the rich knowledge of suppliers and customers .
DFM: the bridge between customers and suppliers
Customers and suppliers exchange information through a document called DFM: Manufacturability Design to define product design and its manufacturing process. The purpose of DFM is to describe the product and its connection with the production process, analyze the technical feasibility of the project and propose solutions to facilitate the manufacturing process. Through this document, technicians can indicate whether the design conforms to the technical system of the production department, and then they can provide suggestions for adjusting specific product characteristics or production stages.
When choosing die-casting as the production method, it is necessary to analyze the core hole, the closing line and the extraction point specifically: therefore, product design and mold design are inextricably linked, so they are closely related to the production process. The results of using the mold are beneficial because it allows components to be copied over time, but at the same time, in order to obtain a mold suitable for the product, it also involves complex research and testing: DFM contains all the information needed to achieve this goal. .
Taking die casting as a processing method, the first thing to check is the mold design: it is indeed the core element of the die casting process. Customers and suppliers work together to develop a system suitable for molds and components, considering both the aesthetic and functional requirements of the product and the mechanical design of the mold: in fact, it must be resistant and robust during the production process And functionality.
First, it is necessary to verify whether the product can be produced by high-pressure die casting by analyzing the size and geometry of the part. Once the geometry and characteristics of the product are completely defined, the actual mold design process can begin: this stage includes checking the product's characteristics, the number of cavities, the projected area, and the volume and shape of the mold. The two main elements that make up the mold design are the design and simulation phase of the hot chamber injection system: the injection method is indeed the core aspect to be analyzed when developing the mold, and simulation is an advantageous tool to define the most suitable parameters before the component is formed. produced.
Design of Hot Chamber Injection System
In the die casting industry, the basic element that must be considered when talking about mold design is the design of the hot chamber injection system. In fact, the injection method is a core aspect that affects production optimization and product characteristics. Feed and runners are the two main elements that make up the injection molding system: the definition of shape and size is critical to the final result of the casting process, because different shapes will lead to different yields, and it can also reduce potential defects on the mold. .
As mentioned above, a valuable tool for product and mold design is simulation: with the help of simulation software, CAD programs and 3D software engineers can check the technical attributes of the product and define the best application parameters. These devices constitute the basic support in the analysis of physical characteristics, including resistance and structure, allowing engineers to detect potential key problems on the product in advance, thereby reducing the problems that may occur during the review. Indeed, in the first stage of mold filling, errors that could jeopardize product manufacturing can already be observed, such as metal curing too fast: simulation can avoid these problems from the beginning.
Product design also involves analysis of other operations that must be handled after the die casting stage. Indeed, when designing a product, one must consider what type of subsequent operations must be carried out: further processing may be mechanical operations, surface treatments, assembly operations or automated processes. These operations have been considered at the product design stage, allowing engineers to perform specific operations and set precise parameters to achieve perfect results. Here are some examples of further operations:
The typical mechanical operations are reaming and threading: if the part must be threaded, the engineer has defined specific parameters during the mold design phase.
If the product must be surface-treated (for example, painting or chrome plating), potential defects that may occur after the treatment must be foreseen. For example, some surface treatments are carried out at very high temperatures, which may determine the air entrained in the part: during the mold design process, it is necessary to foresee the exhaust of air.
If a part must be assembled with another component, the engineer must consider the tolerances that are useful for assembly. For example, if a part must be inserted into another part, such as a hole and a pivot, the correct interference between the two must be foreseen.
Automation is a common factor for all other operations: automated operations for further processing can ensure appropriate productivity and reduce costs, thereby obtaining products suitable for customer requirements.
Benefits of product design
Product design proves to be an indispensable stage in component production because it enables experts to identify the highest performing processes and features, resulting in excellent results in terms of aesthetics, functionality and adherence to the production process. Therefore, the development of a product design process with a reasonable structure is necessary to obtain relevant benefits, such as reducing production costs, increasing customer trust, achieving customer satisfaction, and producing aesthetically attractive, powerful, and mass-produced products. Required components.
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