Using FMECA to Design Sustainable Products
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In the past, customers were mainly concerned with buying products that were both reliable and easy to maintain. While still important, todayâ€™s customers are more and more interested in purchasing products that are also sustainable. This poses new challenges for companies who develop either commercial or military products. Now, their products not only need to work well and be easy to service, but they also need to use less energy, resources, and be environmentally responsible. These criteria apply to the entire life cycle of products, from when they are first manufactured and put into service, and later when they are discarded or decommissioned. FMECA can be a key enabler to help companies design and produce more sustainable products For many years now Failure Mode, Effects and Criticality Analysis (FMECA) has been a very effective tool or technique used for identifying possible failures and mitigating their effect. Although mainly used to identify failures associated with the design of a product (DFMEA) or flaws involved in the manufacturing process (PFMEA), it can easily be expanded to address concerns associated with sustainability. Chief among these are ecological risks that may be associated with a particular design or the manufacture, use, and disposal of a product. FMECA can be used effectively in each of these areas to not only identify potential risks, but to mitigate adverse effects on the environment.
Keywords: RAMS 2011 Proceedings - Product Reliability - Design Review