Failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA) is a disciplined procedure that recognizes and evaluates the potential failure of a product, including software, or a process and the effects of a failure and identifies actions that reduce the chance of a potential failure from occurring. The FMEA helps the Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) team members improve their design and its delivery processes by asking "what can go wrong?" and "where can variation come from?" Software design and production, delivery, and other processes then are revised to prevent the occurrence of failure modes and to reduce variation. Input to an FMEA application includes past warranty or process experience, if any; customer wants, needs, and delights; performance requirements; specifications; and functional mappings.

In the hardware-(product) oriented DFSS applications (Yang & El-Haik, 2008), various FMEA types will be experienced by the DFSS team. They are depicted in Figure 16.1. The FMEA concept is used to analyze systems and subsystems in the early concept and design stages. It focuses on potential failure modes associated with the functions of a system caused by the design. The concept FMEA helps the DFSS team to review targets for the functional requirements (FRs), to select optimum physical architecture with minimum vulnerabilities, to identify preliminary testing requirements, and to determine whether hardware system redundancy is required ...

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