What is DFD?
Design for Distribution is an aspect of the new product development (NPD) process where packaging is specially designed with product or component protection and logistics costs in mind in order to lower rework, scrap, and logistics costs. It is better to include DFD as early as possible in the new product development process.
A product or component that is either fragile, has an odd shape, or has other unique characteristics that require it to be protected or shipped with specific needs must have very specific product packaging, and this will have an impact on the product cost from both a package design and manufacturing point of view as well as having a potential impact on logistics costs too.
Considerations about product packaging
When it comes to product packaging there are multiple factors to consider, which is why the design of the packaging needs to be included in the NPD process. There are standards that can be used as a guideline, for example, ASTM, ISTA, JIS, and FedEx, but these should not be regarded as the be all end all.
In particular, the free fall drop tests and whether or not the test results replicate actual issues found in the field on a consistent basis (and never causes issues not found in real distribution).
The design of product packaging should also be managed internally, in other words, do not hand this over to your contract manufacturer as they do not understand the complete logistics chain your product goes through.
For more information on this subject, you can read this article: Design for Distribution: What Hardware Startups Need To Know.