Aerospace & defenseMay 6, 2024

Design FMEA

Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is a structured technique for early detecting of product failure modes and their root causes in order to correct the issue early without significant cost, time or certification delay.
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Elevating Quality Assurance by Integrating Model-Based Design and FMEA

Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is a structured technique for early detecting of product failure modes and their root causes in order to correct the issue early without significant cost, time or certification delay.

Introducing FMEA

Similar to the principles of advanced product quality planning (APQP), but with a different application and focus, failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA) is a structured technique for early detecting product failure modes and their root causes in order to correct the issue early without significant cost, time, or certification delay. As a reference, cost related to certification is about 20% of an aircraft program, hence why FMEA as one element of APQP is key.

Imagine you are in charge of a space mission. Your spacecraft is made up of thousands of different parts. To ensure the safety of your astronauts and the success of your mission, you must thoroughly inspect every single component of your spacecraft, from the engines to the toilet tubes.

FMEA is a bit like mapping out all the worst-case scenarios before they happen. For each component, you ask yourself, “What can fail? How could it fail? What would be the impact? Can I prevent it or mitigate the risk of it or otherwise handle it?” Then, for each possible failure, you consider how severe it would be, how likely it is, and whether there are any signs that could warn you before it happens.

By identifying potential failures and their effects early on, engineers can take safety precautions, improve the design, and implement controls to prevent or minimize their effects and ensure that the highest standards of safety and reliability are met such as the A&D industry standards EN9145 and AS9000.

Model-Based Design Meets FMEA

Today, the quality approach is mainly done through manual APQP/FMEA process and documents management to maintain compliance to standard, limiting collaboration and change tracking in the context of engineering data.

Model-based design (MBD) is an advanced method that uses digital simulation to create and validate comprehensive product models in a virtual environment. This approach not only provides a better understanding of how a product will behave under varying conditions, but also enables multi-dimensional optimization of design and manufacturing processes before physical prototypes are created. With the collaborative 3DEXPERIENCE® platform, the MBD is a standard to run a program from the first idea until the support and service in operations.

At the heart of model-based system design is the use of the requirement, functional, logical and physical (RFLP) framework, which ensures a holistic and multidisciplinary approach to system development. This method not only promotes cohesion between the mechanical, electrical, fluid dynamics and software engineering disciplines, but also ensures that system requirements and system architecture are aligned, simplifying the path to meeting key performance and market requirements. Integrating FMEA into this framework increases effectiveness and enables the systematic identification, analysis and correction of potential failure modes in a context that includes various system aspects.

The combination of MBD and FMEA creates a robust framework that embodies the core principles of APQP to predict potential failures, but also systematically prioritizes them so that teams can use their resources efficiently and focus on eliminating the most critical risks first. In addition, the digital nature of MBD enables rapid iterations and adjustments based on FMEA results, significantly accelerating the product development cycle.

Model-based design FMEA analyzes failure mechanisms and lower-level functional failures in systems or subsystems during early design stages. It is a valuable tool for analyzing different concept solutions in more detail and is particularly useful in trade-off studies.

The 3DEXPERIENCE: The Convergence of MBD and FMEA

The 3DEXPERIENCE platform seamlessly integrates model-based system design and FMEA. It provides a collaborative environment where all stakeholders – including design teams, engineers, quality analysts and manufacturers – come together to explore, analyze and refine product designs. The platform’s advanced simulation capabilities combined with comprehensive risk analysis tools ensure that every aspect of product development and manufacturing is optimized in multiple dimensions for quality and performance.

By providing an end-to-end solution from initial design through process planning and validation, the platform enables companies to:

  • Efficiently identify and address potential design and manufacturing errors before they become costly or hazardous

    Improve cross-functional collaboration and ensure that all team members have access to up-to-date information and can effectively contribute to the quality assurance process

    Use data-driven insights to quickly make informed decisions that improve overall product quality and reduce time to market

Based on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, CATIA provides the capabilities to capture the key design characteristics and perform D-FMEA (design failure mode and effects analysis). D-FMEA is a dedicated methodology that aims to identify potential failure modes specifically in the design of a product, assess the associated risks and propose preventive measures. It focuses on analyzing failure modes in relation to the intended use of the product, paying particular attention to key features such as function and design. It also evaluates existing prevention and detection controls and recommends improvements to effectively mitigate the risks.

A Forward Focus: Dassault Systèmes’ Technological Leap

CATIA 3DEXPERIENCE represents a new approach to quality assurance in product development and manufacturing, especially in zero-defect-tolerance industries such as aerospace and defense, where the consequences of part failure can range from mission delays to loss of life.

CATIA’s MBD capabilities enable the creation of complex 3D models that serve as a single source of truth throughout the product lifecycle. This eliminates inconsistencies and ensures that everyone is working from the same, up-to-date model.

With D-FMEA tools built directly into CATIA applications, engineers can systematically identify and analyze potential failure points in the product design and manufacturing process. This proactive risk assessment helps prioritize issues based on their severity, likelihood of occurrence, and detectability, and facilitates targeted mitigation strategies.

The 3DEXPERIENCE platform goes beyond traditional MBD and FMEA by incorporating virtual twin technology to create digital replicas of products and processes. This enables real-time monitoring and simulation, providing invaluable insight into product performance and manufacturing efficiency before physical prototypes are built.

Democratizing Simulation for Comprehensive System Evaluation

The 3DEXPERIENCE platform democratizes system simulation by enabling professionals to create multi-physics simulation models and share ready-to-use experiments with a wider audience. With the system simulation web applications, non-experts can access predefined dashboards and simulations from any web browser or mobile device, promoting understanding and cross-participation in system evaluation and optimization processes.

Embedding Software Engineering and Standards Compliance

The 3DEXPERIENCE takes a system-oriented approach to embedded software development and supports the development of critical software for applications ranging from aerospace to defense systems that comply with industry standards. By integrating safety and cybersecurity considerations throughout the product development cycle, the platform ensures that products are not only performance-optimized, but also safe and reliable. This model-based strategy includes hazard analysis and risk assessment, and supports compliance with functional safety and cybersecurity standards, strengthening the foundation for quality assurance.

Raising the Bar for Product Development and Quality Assurance

The symbiosis of model-based system design and failure mode and effects analysis is ushering in a new era of product development where proactivity is the operative word. This integrated approach not only accelerates the innovation cycle and shortens time-to-market, but also significantly reduces the risk of product failure, recalls and reputational damage, while raising the bar for product quality, safety and reliability.

Download the eBook to discover more A&D total quality management solutions in action!

And to deep dive into the related Industry Solution Experiences: Ready for Rate, Cleared To Operate, Program Excellence

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