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Failure Mode Avoidance (FMA)

FMA group photo

Many industries are facing the challenge of developing increasingly complex products with higher and higher standards of quality and reliability in time and cost competitive environments. This is particularly challenging for the automotive sector where production rates of one per minute, uncontrolled customer usage of the product in the field, product complexity, and frequent product upgrades all combine to make the task of engineering technically difficult.

Failure Mode Avoidance (FMA) is a new paradigm aiming to deliver a step change in the effectiveness of business and engineering processes associated with product creation, from product definition to launch. Under this paradigm a failure mode is defined as any business condition (technical, planning, procedural) that will require a change (fix or countermeasure) to the current plan.

The impact of changes on the economics of product development is well known: any such change (and engineering changes in particular) is essentially a waste, which ultimately via cumulative and sometimes multiplicative effects, will affect the quality, cost and timing of the new product development and introduction.

The fundamental conjecture of the FMA philosophy is that failure modes only have to be found and fixed once. The cost effectiveness of any new product development and launch can be enhanced if potential failure modes are discovered as early as possible in the product creation process since early discovery gives more latitude for the selection of a countermeasure and requires less cost to implement the countermeasure.

Failure Mode Avoidance represents a disciplined approach to engineering which uses practices that both minimize the number of potential failure modes in the first place and ensure that all remaining failure modes are discovered, and countermeasures are implemented, as soon as possible.

The process has been pioneered by Ford Motor Company as part of their business turnaround strategy and has the active support of senior European management. Automotive suppliers and other industries engaged in the design and manufacture of volume product would also benefit from the Failure Mode Avoidance approach.

How to apply

For further enquiries about the courses please contact:

Dr Felician Campean
EQI Programme Director:
F.Campean@bradford.ac.uk 
Tel: +44 (0)1274 234569

Delegates from industry would need a sponsorship agreement with their company.