The Benefits DFM Bring



  • The client came to us with a prototype for an emergency lighting backup power supply that had been created by a designer that they had used previously.
  • They knew their marketplace well, and believed that products available at the time could be improved upon significantly. An initial batch of 48,000 units was required.


The initial product was not designed for manufacture (DFM), and many of the components used in the prototype were either not readily available, inefficient, or compromised in some way so as to make the project impractical.


Solutions often come through the power of an active partnership network. Using in-house expertise, and utilising design services provided by one of our supply chain partners, we took the clients concept and turned it in to a viable market leading product.

  • The prototype double sided PCB was redesigned, and converted in to a single sided board, massively reducing cost.
  • A suitable power source for the unit was identified, to replace the difficult to source 4x AA batteries in the prototype.
  • Once the internal specification was agreed, a new enclosure was designed and 3d printed to prove.
  • A mould tool was then commissioned, on behalf of the client, to create the enclosure. This would be much more cost effective than the prototype enclosure (this alone reduced the product enclosure costs from £4.50 to 60p) and to make it much more efficient and attractive installers and specifiers.
  • We then designed user-friendly packaging to present a product that was trade and retail ready.
  • For complete transparency and traceability up and down the supply chain, we created an end-to-end project management tool to present to the client with a retail ready product.


  • Experience – by working with Active EMS, our customer has gained valuable product development and DFM knowhow, which they can carry through to the next generation of their product.
  • Speed – if our customer had invested in-house to gain the engineering experience and DFM, the whole process would have slowed down their
    product introduction.
  • Savings – substantial cost saving, meaning the product is not only market-leading, and retail ready, but also highly efficient and effective from
    a financial perspective.


  • We gained further DFM experience to deepen our capabilities roadmap.
  • We were able to once again work with our valued vertically integrated partner network to add-value to our customer, but also strengthen our relations across the supply chain.
  • We were able to introduce non-traditional EMS solutions such as packaging and enclosures.


  • The project was managed from end-to-end for our customer enabling them to focus on their core competencies such as R&D and Sales & Marketing.
  • Our customer took receipt of a bespoke product designed and manufactured in accordance with their actual needs, meaning they can deliver a unique proposition to their customer which is truly fit for function.
  • Our customer will return to Active EMS prior to prototyping to inject speed into their supply chain.