Loughborough University
Thesis-2003-Teoh.pdf (97.51 MB)

Failure modes and effects analysis for conceptual design

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posted on 2010-11-01, 11:21 authored by Ping C. Teoh
Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is one of the concurrent engineering tools that is widely used. It is a tool for quality improvement, as well as for risk assessment. However, a lot of shortcomings have hindered its effectiveness. Much research has been carried out and many commercial tools have been introduced to enhance the method. Unfortunately, none of the tools are able to fulfill the needs for automatic FMEA generation for generic applications. This research aims to contribute to the implementation of design and process FMEA in conceptual design. Focus is given to the area of functional and structural modelling, as well as the information model for FMEA knowledge. The emphasis is to prevent repeated information in the FMEA and encourage knowledge reuse. A literature review has been carried out on the FMEA background, the current FMEA tools and research, as well as other related areas in modelling and reasoning techniques. Special emphasis was given to the application in FMEA, conceptual design, knowledge collection, organisation and reuse. An object-oriented FMEA model has been established based on the review. A "Knowledge fragment" reasoning approach has been used for its simplicity and capability to work with incomplete information. The reasoning approach has also been improvised to enable new knowledge creation. The FMEA model has been implemented using a software prototype and an information model. An FMEA framework for knowledge collection, reuse and maintenance has also been developed. The prototype software and the generated results were evaluated using five case studies. The evaluation confirmed the capability of the prototype to create reliable new knowledge. It has also revealed some issues arose during the case studies. As a result, some improvements have been suggested. A common ontology approach and an integrated knowledge-sharing framework have been proposed for continuous knowledge enrichment. Finally, conclusions are drawn against the research objectives. The research has shown the potential of the new FMEA generation approach for conceptual design applications. Through the proposed method, knowledge sharing can be carried out continuously through out the product development life cycle.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


© Teoh Ping Chow

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

EThOS Persistent ID



  • en