We make models of everything; cars, houses, airplanes, car parts. For decades, engineers and designers relied on physical models to visualize how their design would appear in finished form. “Bringing it to life,” as it were. You may have seen old photographs of car models sculpted out of clay. You could see how all the lines of the car worked together, casting shadows and allowing the eyes to see if the design ideas worked together in harmony… or not.
Today, we rely mostly on virtual models because they are so much faster to create with modern software and computing power. They are also much less expensive to build than their physical counterparts. Designers can build virtual models of car interiors and try out new designs and technologies without actually building anything physical.
In this sense, we make models to evaluate if and how the design will function, both on its own but also when integrated with other things (like a human). The idea of a model-based FMEA comes as a natural extension of this idea. If we first build a functional model of our product, describing each of the pieces and parts by name and how they each are intended to function, we then can understand, and also communicate clearly to others, how each part works with other parts to make the whole system work. By first understanding how the whole system is supposed to work, we can more clearly and effectively understand, describe, and analyze how, and in what ways, these same pieces and parts fail to function.
The APIS-IQ software leverages this concept by giving the user a graphically-based environment in which to build these functional models. It can then be used to analyze the failure modes, causes, and effects in a crisp and concise way. The published FMEA guidelines suggest this way of thinking. The other FMEA software on the market talk about this way of thinking. The APIS IQ-Software implemented this way of thinking!
If you haven’t already, give it a try. Better yet, give one of our training courses a try and let’s talk more in depth about how the APIS IQ-Software functional model-based approach can add incredible value to your FMEAs.