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Enabling Probabilistic Risk Assessment Instruction During The Conceptual Design Phase: Function Based Risk Analysis

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Conference

2007 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Assessing Design Coursework II

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count

15

Page Numbers

12.603.1 - 12.603.15

DOI

10.18260/1-2--2916

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/2916

Download Count

181

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Paper Authors

author page

Katie Grantham Lough University of Missouri

author page

Robert Stone University of Missouri

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Enabling Probabilistic Risk Assessment Instruction During the Conceptual Design Phase: Function Based Risk Analysis

Abstract

Most decisions about a product, i.e. form, function, aesthetics, etc, are made during the conceptual phase of product design. Since those decisions not only impact product performance but also product failures, methods to address the potential product failures (risks) should be initiated during this design phase, before a product has assumed physical form. This paper presents the Risk in Early Design (RED) method as the backbone of the graduate level Function Based Risk Assessment course to teach an interdisciplinary group of engineers how to use traditional PRA techniques such as failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA), fault trees, and event trees in conceptual product design. The innovative use of specific engineering taxonomies and knowledge-base failure data representation allows RED to identify product risks armed only with product function. Moreover, the engineering taxonomies used in RED drastically reduce communication issues prevalent in risk assessment due to natural language. RED provides the students with a database of expertise from which to draw their engineering knowledge in order to perform other PRA techniques successfully and in the process builds each student’s own knowledge-base, or experience, of relevant product failures.

1 Introduction

The conceptual phase of product design is the one in which the design problem is defined and analyzed leading to concept formations. The concept formations include most decisions about a product, i.e. form, function, aesthetics, etc. These decisions made during the conceptual phase of product design impact not only product performance but also product failures. Moreover, up to 85% of the life-cycle costs of a product are determined during this design stage while only about 5% have been spent [1] Therefore, methods to address the potential product failures (risks) should be initiated during the conceptual design phase, before a product has assumed physical form, to maximize their chances of mitigating potential product failures while minimizing their cost of implementation.

Very little detailed information about a product, such as material type, dimensions, performance environment, etc, is available during this phase of design. This lack of information causes traditional approaches to probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) to fall short during the conceptual design phase because they require a significant amount of detailed data to be performed. Moreover, these methods also require a significant amount of expertise on the product, its systems, and its environment to identify potential failures to analyze. Often a designer, assigned to the conceptual phase of product design, is not an expert on system operation, rather the process of creating the system. Therefore, a risk assessment method that could be applied during the conceptual design phase without a significant amount of expertise is beneficial in reducing life cycle cost and preventing product failures. One such method is the Risk in Early Design (RED) method[2, 3, 4].

1

Grantham Lough, K., & Stone, R. (2007, June), Enabling Probabilistic Risk Assessment Instruction During The Conceptual Design Phase: Function Based Risk Analysis Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2916

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