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.

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