Dobryden, A., Rutter, B., Hartl, D., and Bramson, E., "Failure Mode Avoidance Approach for Hybrid Electric Vehicle Systems," SAE Int. J. Engines 10(2):222-226, 2017, doi:10.4271/2017-01-0298.
Adoption of new technology with ever increasing complexity challenges organizational structures and processes as subsystem ownership crosses several powertrain subsystem boundaries (and thereby involves multiple departments). Integrating such technology without introducing inadvertent failure modes can be a difficult task. This paper illustrates an upfront approach to understanding the potential system impact of using an example new technology.In product development activities involving primarily reuse of known technologies, organizational and subsystem boundaries are generally clear. Interfaces are well established and responsibilities for managing failure mode avoidance are generally known. Implementation of new technology which does not naturally fit the well-established organizational definitions and boundaries presents distinctive challenges to system design, system integration, and verification using failure mode avoidance (FMA).The example technology primarily impacts the exhaust system, the powertrain cooling system, and the powertrain control system. The reconciliation of the various system functions, interfaces and potential error states need to be communicated and understood by the areas affected. The numerous interfaces need to be identified, characterized, and must be managed systematically to ensure compatibility and integration of the design elements at all levels to avoid potential failure modes. In a large, distributed product development organization, this can be a major effort and requires a greater degree of collaboration and system work than in previous projects to ensure success. This paper is a case study of a project to explore the potential impacts on the organization and powertrain system of adopting a new technology.