July 15, 2019
Design failure mode and effect analysis (DFMEA) is a systematic group of activities used to recognize and evaluate potential systems, products, or process failures. DFMEA identifies the effects and outcomes of these failures or actions. It eliminates or mitigates the failures and provides a written history of the work performed.
Figure 1. Failure mode and effective analysis (FMEA) is an important part of the design cycle, hence the creation of DFMEA.
With such a broad application, it sounds like DFMEA could be all things to all people. However, it is not the best analysis tool for every challenge. So, is it the best solution for you? Read on to find out.
In essence, DFMEA determines what might go wrong, how bad the effect may be, and how to prevent or mitigate it.
DFMEA helps engineers detect failures at the earliest possible moment so they can be corrected early, without significant cost. It is especially useful for disciplines in which risk reduction and failure prevention are crucial, including:
Figure 2. Many industries can benefit from DFMEA.
DFMEA drills into failure from several angles to determine why the expected or intended function didn’t occur under the stated conditions. There are four areas of analysis:
Figure 3. A DFMEA risk priority number (RPN) distribution
The results are then taken to a more granular level with the calculation of a risk priority number (RPN) based on several variables:
RPN is determined by multiplying SEV, OCCUR, and DETEC. Therefore, the RPN can have a value anywhere from 1 (low risk) to 1,000 (high risk). Users are then able to define what is acceptable and unacceptable for the failure being analyzed.
Like any process, DFMEA is subject to some degree of user error. Some obvious lapses include never referencing or updating DMFEA documentation or applying the analysis inconsistently. Procedurally, there are a number of missteps that can also occur:
Figure 4. Avoid common mistakes in the DFMEA process
Some of these mistakes may be the result of users trying to save time during the long DFMEA process. With Ansys Sherlock automated design analysis software, users can economize DFMEA testing time without compromising quality or outcomes.
Sherlock is an automated design analysis software that introduces insight and prediction into product development at a much earlier stage than other methodologies. As an alternative to physical testing, Sherlock models the design and uses it to provide dependable analysis.
Figure 5. Sherlock prepopulates a DFMEA spreadsheet using imported netlists.
DFMEA with Sherlock helps:
Sherlock automates and simplifies DFMEA, increasing the value of this important analysis process across all industries and disciplines in which it is used.
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