The Function-Failure Design Method

[+] Author and Article Information
Robert B. Stone1

Associate Professor, Department of Basic Engineering, University of Missouri-Rolla, Rolla, MO 65409rstone@umr.edu

Irem Y. Tumer

Research Scientist, Computational Sciences Division, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035-1000itumer@mail.arc.nasa.gov

Michael Van Wie

Post-doctorial Researcher, Department of Basic Engineering, University of Missouri-Rolla, Rolla, MO 65409vanwie@umr.edu

Note: This step would normally not occur when performing the FFDM, It is included here to offer a design on which the FMEA can be performed. In the actual FFDM, the first physical model would already exhibit functionality and/or componentry to address possible failure modes. In this case, the initial physical design does not address any possible failure modes.


To whom correspondence should be addressed.

J. Mech. Des 127(3), 397-407 (Jul 12, 2004) (11 pages) doi:10.1115/1.1862678 History: Received April 16, 2003; Revised July 12, 2004

To succeed in the product development market today, firms must quickly and accurately satisfy customer needs while designing products that adequately accomplish their desired functions with a minimum number of failures. When failure analysis and prevention are coupled with a product’s design from its conception, potentially shorter design times and fewer redesigns are necessary to arrive at a final product design. In this article, we explore the utility of a novel design methodology that allows failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA)-style failure analysis to be conducted during conceptual design. The function-failure design method (FFDM) guides designers towards improved designs by predicting likely failure modes based on intended product functionality.

Copyright © 2005 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

The concept generator method

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Figure 2

FFDM and concept generator procedure

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Figure 3

Using the FFDM to enumerate failure modes for a given function

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Figure 4

Initial compressor physical design

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Figure 5

The FFDM approach for the compressor design

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Figure 6

Exploded view of Campbell Hausfeld 1∕2in. air impact wrench

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Figure 7

Overview of experimental results




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