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Design for service

Design for service (DfS) considers customer expectations and competitive products, with the goal of delivering the highest desired level of service performance under given resource and cost constraints.

What is design for service?

DFS is a product lifecycle strategy that addresses a product’s serviceability attributes. These attributes, such as reliability, configuration, and ergonomics, have a direct bearing on the cost and efficacy of servicing the product. Design for service is a critical aspect of service lifecycle management (SLM), an integral part of product lifecycle management (PLM).

Service engineering specialists have come to realize that many of the product attributes that influence, assist, or hinder service are designed into the product. This means that the impact of these attributes on service execution continues through the product lifecycle. The purpose of a design for service is to deliberately include attributes in the design that positively affect service execution.

Product design for service offers a structured framework to help manufacturers determine the right balance of reliability and serviceability.

Related products: Teamcenter Service Lifecycle Management

Two workers wearing hardhats in a factory

Understand the benefits

By implementing a design for service strategy, manufacturers help their service organizations achieve a higher level of service readiness before launching a new product. Design for service also supports productive interaction between engineering and service, leading to better design decisions.

Lower service costs and reduce risks

Spend less time servicing assets and avoid maintenance issues that lead to asset downtime with products designed with service in mind.

Even more reliable maintenance plans

Visibility of service events, past issues, and feedback loops from service teams provide valuable insights that enable design for service.

Achieve greater customer satisfaction

Reduce asset downtime and service inefficiencies while keeping assets in production longer.

How product design for service software works

While many design elements and decisions play a role in the serviceability of the manufactured and deployed final product, a few stand out as being of significant consequence:

Reliability planning – Although product reliability is a primary driver of service and warranty costs, achieving the highest possible reliability may create new problems. It may delay the release of the product to manufacturing, add cost to the final product, or add complexity to the supply chain. The goal of manufacturing design for service is not to maximize reliability but to optimize it relative to competitive products, warranty period, the type of maintenance strategy to be employed, and the type of service agreement to be used.

Configuration – The physical configuration of a finished product significantly affects service and repair activities. Of particular importance is part modularity and the designation of field-replaceable units (FRUs). The characteristics of each FRU dictates which parts have to be inventoried, carried to the point of service, replaced, and subsequently sent back for depot repair, testing and recertification. With high-level FRUs, a single repair action may cover numerous functions and potential failure modes. However, these FRUs are more expensive to inventory, ship, and repair than simpler FRUs. A robust design for service strategy weighs these different factors.

Ergonomics – Design for service accounts for heavy lifting, working around hot surfaces, properly handling hazardous materials, and many other activities associated with maintaining and repairing highly engineered finished products. By addressing these design ergonomics issues, engineers help ensure fast, safe service. Examples of such design for service elements include modified physical architecture, special tools, and specially engineered service techniques and protocols.

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