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Journal Article

A Systems Approach to the Development and Use of FMEA in Complex Automotive Applications

The effective deployment of FMEAs within complex automotive applications faces a number of challenges, including the complexity of the system being analysed, the need to develop a series of coherently linked FMEAs at different levels within the systems hierarchy and across intrinsically interlinked engineering disciplines, and the need for coherent linkage between critical design characteristics cascaded through the systems levels with their counterparts in manufacturing. The approach presented in this paper to address these challenges is based on a structured Failure Mode Avoidance (FMA) framework which promotes the development of FMEAs within an integrated Systems Engineering approach. The effectiveness of the framework is illustrated through a case study, centred on the development of a diesel exhaust aftertreatment system.
Journal Article

Systems Engineering Excellence Through Design: An Integrated Approach Based on Failure Mode Avoidance

Automotive Product Development organisations are challenged with ever increasing levels of systems complexity driven by the introduction of new technologies to address environmental concerns and enhance customer satisfaction within a highly competitive and cost conscious market. The technical difficulty associated with the engineering of complex automotive systems is compounded by the increase in sophistication of the control systems needed to manage the integration of technology packages. Most automotive systems have an electro-mechanical structure with control and software features embedded within the system. The conventional methods for design analysis and synthesis are engineering discipline focused (mechanical, electrical, electronic, control, software).
Technical Paper

Robust and Reliable Teamwork within Engineering Projects

The quality of the output generated by a team is directly influenced by how well the team works together. Despite the complexity of the team system, within a typical Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) project the consideration given to the team process is often disproportionately small in comparison to that paid to the technical aspects of the project. This paper presents an efficient approach to teamwork within an engineering design context such as a DFSS project, in which team skills are modelled on DFSS technical processes allowing team members to learn both technical and teamwork skills within the common context of the technical process. DFSS engineering tools used within the framework of Failure Mode Avoidance are used to identify key potential failure modes in the team process and their effects and causes. A series of effective and efficient countermeasures to the team process failure modes are introduced as straight forward and easy to use interlinking teamwork tools.
Journal Article

A Structured Approach for Function Analysis of Complex Automotive Systems

Function analysis provides the backbone of systems engineering design and underpins the use of Design for Six Sigma and Failure Mode Avoidance tools. Identification and management of interfaces is a key task in systems engineering design, in ensuring that the system achieves its functions in a robust and reliable way. The aim of the work presented in this paper was to develop and implement a structured approach for function analysis of a complex system, which focuses on the identification and characterization of interfaces. The proposed approach is based on the principle of separation of the functional and physical domains and development of function decomposition through iteration between functional and physical domains. This is achieved by integrating some existing / known engineering tools such as Boundary Diagram, State Flow Diagram, Function Tree and an enhanced interface analysis within a coherent flow of information.
Technical Paper

Implementing Failure Mode Avoidance

This paper presents an approach to product design and development based on function failure avoidance, using of series of well known engineering tools including Function Fault Tree Analysis, P-Diagram and Design Verification. A 4-step function failure mode avoidance process is presented. The use of the engineering tools in an integrated and synergistic manner to achieve robust and reliable product design is illustrated by considering information flow within an automotive case study. The central role of FMEA within the process is described. The authors’ experience of using the process is discussed.
Technical Paper

A Function Failure Approach to Fault Tree Analysis for Automotive Systems

This paper introduces a function failure approach to Fault Tree Analysis (FFTA) and illustrates its application through an automotive case study. The methodology is structured and straightforward to use. It is argued that the FFTA methodology integrates and interconnects well with other failure mode avoidance tools in common use in the automotive engineering design, such as FMEA and P-Diagram. FFTA shares the same platform for function based system analysis as other analysis tools and delivers complementary information
Technical Paper

Analytical Life Prediction Modelling of an Automotive Timing Belt

This paper presents a methodology that makes use of computer based analytical simulation methods combined with statistical tools to predict timing belt life. This allows timing belt life to be estimated with no requirement for running test engines and associated test equipment, which is both very time and expense exhaustive. A case study on a belt driven primary drive for a V6 Diesel engine was used to illustrate the methodology. A computer based dynamic model for the belt drive system was developed and validated, and a belt life prediction model was developed, which uses tooth load predictions from the analytical model. Statistical modeling of predicted damage accumulated to failure was used to estimate the model parameters given a limited set of belt life results from a motored rig test. The practical use of the model is illustrated by predicting belt life under customer usage.