Right By Design : A Novel Approach to Failure Mode Avoidance book cover
1st Edition

Right By Design
A Novel Approach to Failure Mode Avoidance

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after February 22, 2023
ISBN 9781032260068
February 22, 2023 Forthcoming by Productivity Press
376 Pages 168 B/W Illustrations

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $39.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Product design is becoming increasingly challenging as product complexity increases dramatically with the advent of autonomous control and the need to achieve zero emissions. Companies continue to have poor product launches with significant numbers of recall campaigns and high after-sales warranties. It is important that potential product failures are identified and fixed during the design of a product. Failure modes found late after the design has matured are normally easy to find with some being identified by the customer but are often difficult and expensive to fix since modifying one part will often have a knock-on effect on other parts causing other problems. Discovering failure modes early in the design process is often difficult requiring rigorous and comprehensive analysis but once found such failure modes are usually easy and cheap to fix.

This book presents an approach to product design based on Failure Mode Avoidance that utilizes a series of strongly interrelated engineering tools and interpersonal skills that can be used to discover failure modes early in the design process. The tools can be used across engineering disciplines.

Despite engineering being largely a team activity, it is often the case that little attention is paid to the team process after the team membership has been identified, with membership normally being based on technical expertise. In addition to technical expertise, an effective engineering team requires individual engineers to work together efficiently. Good leadership is also required with the leader able to both manage change and encourage individual team members to work to the best of their ability. The book interweaves technical skills, team skills, and team leadership in a way that reflects their real-life interrelationship.

The book tells the fictional story of a small engineering team and its leader as they implement the skills introduced in the book and follows their experiences reflecting individual difficulties, enthusiasm, humor, and skepticism in applying the methodologies and tools for the first time. In addition, the story tells of team members' interactions with their management and peers within a company that, having been very successful, finds itself in financial difficulties.

It promotes constructivist learning through the reader empathizing with the characters in the book. These characters ask questions that are typical of those that learners will ask about the subject matter. Learning reinforcement is also integrated into the storyline as a natural and unobtrusive feature.

The book is intended to be read like a novel from cover to cover with a storyline that motivates the reader to read on. While including in-depth technical examples the book is not intended as a seminal text on Failure Mode Avoidance or team skills but is intended to give the reader an understanding such that they are motivated to learn more. Having read the book, it can be treated more typically as a textbook by returning to some of the technical detail or looking to further reading such as that identified in the book.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Beginning Anew

John Perry leaves Blade Motors and gets a new job at Oxton Bikes

Chapter 2 Meeting the Team

The Oe375 Bike PD Team’s first meeting

Warm Up

Programme Timing

Product Givens

Kano Model

Warm Down

Chapter 3 Framing Actions

Oe375 PD Teams second meeting

Effective Meetings

Oe375 People Skills,

Oe375 and Failure Mode Avoidance

Oe375 Programme Roadmap

The 4-Phase Oxton FMA Framework (OFTEN)

Function before Form

Oe375 Excitement Features

Chapter 4 Tracking States

Tacit and Explicit Knowledge

Use Case Diagram

Systems Vee Model

Phase 1 of OFTEN Framework

System State Flow Diagram (SSFD)

High-Level SSFD


SSFD Object, Function and Design Solution Triad

Drivetrain SSFD

Derivation of Function Tree and Boundary Diagram

Chapter 5 Applying Guidelines:

Active Listening

Questioning for Clarification

Comparison of Chain and Belt Drives

Electric Drive

High-level SSFD

High level Architecture

Object, Function and Design Solution Triads

System State Flow Diagram

SSFD Guidelines

Propulsion System

High-level SSFD

System State Flow Diagram

Chapter 6 Crossing Boundaries


Feedback in Team Meetings

Evaluative and Descriptive Feedback

Propulsion System

Derivation of Boundary Diagram

Derivation of Function Tree

Interface Analysis

Interface Matrix

Internal Interface Table

Populating the Interface Table

Affected System Function

Chapter 7 Analysing Failure

Verbal Communication in Team

Framing Information: The Spoken Word

Speaking Guidelines

Interface Analysis continued

Further examples

External Interface Table

Affected System Function

Internal interfaces

External interfaces

Consecutive and non-consecutive Design Elements

Phase 2 of the OFTEN Framework

Function Failure Modes

Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA)

Core process

Design FMEA

Initial Population using knowledge gained during Interface Analysis

Function, Failure Mode, Potential Effects, Potential Causes

Causes due to a Mistakes

Chapter 8 Branching Out

See, Imagine, Feel


Proxy Interface

Propulsion System Design FMEA

Further examples

Severity and Occurrence Ratings

Priority Matrix

Function Fault Tree

Derivation from Function Tree

Relationship between OFTEN Tools

Chapter 9 Investigating Noise:


Dimensions of Attribution

Design FMEA continued

Further examples Severity and Occurrence Ratings

Cassette Derailleur

Object, Function and Design Solution Triads

Updated Propulsion System State Flow Diagram

Phase 3 of the OFTEN Framework

Design Controls

Current Design Controls Prevention

Detection Ratings

Current Design Controls Detection


Noise Factor Types

Noise and Control Factor Table

Noise Factor Types

Diverted Output

Control Factors

Design FMEA Recommended Action

Comparison of Design FMEA and Noise and Control Factor Table

Chapter 10 Developing Models

Propulsive and Resistive Forces Acting on eBike

Mathematical modelling

External Interfaces with eBike Affecting Propulsion

Noise and Control Factor Table for Propulsive Forces

Noise Factors by Type

Diverted Output

Effect of Noise on model parameters

Control Factors

Framing Information; The Written Word

Noise and Control Factor Table for Propulsive Forces

Further detail

eBike Propulsion System Noise Effect Simulator

Variation in Resistive Power with Differing Noise Space

Chapter 11 Preventing Failure

Using Closed Questions

Questioning for Information

Elements that Affect Question Response

Noise and Control Factor Table

Further examples

DFMEA Recommended Actions

Robustness Strategies

Different types

Inclusion in NCF Table

Hardware in Loop Setup for eBike

Relative Effect of Resistive Forces on eBike Propulsion

Chapter 12 Moving Levels

Ranking eBike Features

Brushless DC Mid-Drive Motor

Systems Vee Model revisited

eBike Motor

High-level SSFD

System State Flow Diagram

Function Tree

Comparison of Propulsion System and eBike Motor Boundary Diagrams

eBike Motor Interface Analysis

Interface Matrix

Internal and External Interface Tables

Comparison of Propulsion System and Motor Interface Tables

Noise and Control Factor Table for Motor

Comparison of Propulsion System and eBike Motor Design FMEAs

eBike Interface Analysis and FMEA Partitioning and Decomposition

Noise and Control Factor Table for Motor Optimisation Model

DC Motor Characteristic Curves

Brushless DC Motor Torque Curve

Motor Simulation Model Parameters

System Cascade eBike to Motor

Chapter 13 Verifying the Design

Review of Oe375 People Skills

People Skills as a System

Phase 4 of the OFTEN Framework

System Vee; Systems Integration and Verification

Design Verification at Different System Levels

Noise and Control Factor Table for Propulsive Forces

Design Verification Tests

Distance to Failure

Measures of System Robustness

Noise and Control Factor Table for Motor

Design Verification Tests

Knowledge Gain and the OFTEN Framework

Oe375 Programme Roadmap

Retrospective View

Chapter 14 Reviewing Achievements

The Product Launch and Consequences for Oxton

Appendix: Key Graphics




View More



Ed Henshall is a former UK Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor in Integrated System Design at the University of Bradford, UK. For the first decade of his career Ed lectured in Physics within Further Education in the UK before moving into the automotive industry. He worked for the next two decades within both Manufacturing and Product Design in a multinational automotive company being based in both Europe and the United States. During his time as a RAEng Visiting Professor Ed delivered numerous training courses in Failure Mode Avoidance within Industry in the UK, US, and Europe. Ed holds a Ph.D. in Physics and is a qualified adult teacher.