Henshall, E., Rutter, B., and Souch, D., "Extending the Role of Interface Analysis within a Systems Engineering Approach to the Design of Robust and Reliable Automotive Product," SAE Int. J. Mater. Manf. 8(2):322-335, 2015, doi:10.4271/2015-01-0456.
Automotive design is becoming ever more complex with software controlled electromechanical systems becoming the norm in order to meet ever increasingly stringent legislative requirements and increasing customer expectations. Efficient design of such inherently complex systems calls for improvement to the engineering design process if robust and reliable product is to be designed. There is a tendency for such improvement to reflect the increased complexity of the designed systems with the design process itself becoming increasingly complex. This has been seen where a Failure Mode Avoidance (FMA) approach is used within product design with some of the individual FMA tools requiring increasing amounts of detail with this increasing complexity resulting in tools becoming progressively more cumbersome to use. A restricted toolset is often used and tools tend to be used non-synergistically with limited attention paid to the Systems Engineering demands of product design. The approach presented in this paper while detailed and rigorous leads to efficiencies in the overall FMA process in the area of robust countermeasure development both by reducing redundancy of information, and increasing the coherency of information flow, between the different tools resulting in a simplification of the overall FMA process. An automotive case study is used to demonstrate the central role that interface analysis plays in the process.