What is DFX (Design for Excellence) and Why DFX?


Along with the goal of Industry 4.0 comes the concept of DFX. It has been questioned on “what is DFX?”, “ What is for?” and “Why DFX?”.

DFX, abbreviation for Design for X, is also written as Design for Excellence or Design For Excellence (DfX or DFX). In electronic manufacturing industry, DFM (Design for Manufacture) and DFA(Design for Assembly)are two commonly-used NPI design methods.

To ensure the manufacturability of design and good quality of product, the designer usually need to improve the design of component or whole product with process knowledge. The DFX technology is to provide guidelines for designers to analyze and redesign. Thereinto, X could represent each step from design to manufacturing, such as assembly, manufacturing, testing, usage, service, recycle, etc., or represent each factor that determines product competitiveness, such as quality, cost (C), time and so on.

DFX concept has been put forward long ago by Surface Mount Counselor Committee (SMC) to encourage the practice and popularization of DFM (Design for Manufacture), DFT (Design for Test) and DFR (Design for Reliability), etc., among the industry. DFX is more than a topic of Surface Mount International Conference, SMC has ever published a document including 6 DFX white papers (Reference: SMC-WP-004).

(The picture is from screenshot of IPC website)

For those product designers, it may cost a bit more time by using DFX methods at the beginning of design, while it could greatly reduce troubleshooting time during manufacturing. In another word, DFX methods could help accelerate NPI cycle with shorter manufacturing time, less manufacturing process and lower cost as well as lower rework rate.

From the perspective of design end, the “Design” is more than product design, it is also the design of product development process and system. With the goal of producing a high-quality product with shorter development cycle and lower cost, the designer, , when carrying out the design, must consider the function and performance requirements as well as every factor relating to the whole NPI cycle, including possibility, efficiency and economy of manufacturing.

From the perspective of operation end, DFX technology is an important supporting tool for concurrent engineering, which encourages the optimization design should occur early in the design stage by taking every factor relating to the product like reliability, quality, manufacturability, assemblability, testability, etc. into account, other than thinking about the remedial measures when failure occurred.

The following are some commonly-used DFX design methods:

DFP:Design for Procurerent
DFM:  Design for Manufacture
DFT:Design for Test
DFD:Design for Diagnosibility
DFA:Design for Assembly
DFE:Design for Envirorrnent
DFF:Design for Fabrication of the PCB
DFS:Design for Serviceability
DFR:Design for Reliability
DFC:Design for Cost

Here it will come to the end of introduction on “What is DFX?”, “What is DFX for?” and “Why DFX?”. For description of practical and advanced DFM (Design for Manufacture) technology, please refer to What Is DFM Or Design For Manufacturing?

To get a better understanding of DFX, Vayo recommends a 2-week free trial of advanced 3D DFM/DFA/DFX technology. Apply now!




[1] Christopher Rhodes. “Design for the Environment.”

[2] Werner Engelmaier. & Laura Turbini. “Design for Reliability.”

[3] Vern Solberg, Tessera. “Design for Assembly.”

[4]Scott Buttars. & Robert Rowland, Radisys. “Design for manufacture.”

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