Most hardware design failures can be attributed to either functional incompatibility within the immediate hardware system or functional conditions imposed on the hardware from sources external to the system, exceeding its design capability. The failure cause-function can be a Primary, a Secondary, or an Application function. It can be systematically identified; however, by analyzing the interactions of failure-functions, namely the functions of the failed hardware with all other functions within the failed hardware system. If the cause-function does not emerge, the system boundary is expanded and the analysis repeated. Once the cause function is identified the problem can be solved either by removing the cause-function or modifying the failure-function. Innovation by creative thinking and brainstorming can be highly effective in finding a functional solution to the problem. The solution thus developed will tend to be of a superior quality compared to that of a hardware orientated approach.

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