Browse Publications Technical Papers 2009-01-0738
2009-04-20

Semi-Automatic FMEA Supporting Complex Systems with Combinations and Sequences of Failures 2009-01-0738

Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is a well established safety analysis technique used for the assessment of safety critical engineering systems in the automotive industry. Although FMEA has been shown to be useful, the analysis is typically restricted to the effects of single component failures; even partial analysis of combinations or sequences of multiple failures is in practice considered too complex, laborious and costly to perform. In this paper, we describe a new technique in which FMEAs are semi-automatically built from the topology of a system and component-level specifications of failure data. The proposed technique allows an extended form of “combinatorial & sequential FMEA” in which assessment of the effects of combinations and sequences of failures becomes feasible and cost effective. We show how this technique can address difficulties encountered in classical FMEA and, drawing from a simplified brake-by-wire example, we show how it can improve the assessment of safety critical automotive systems.

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