The Function – Human Error Design Method (FHEDM)


During the design of products, engineers must quickly and accurately satisfy customer needs while adequately developing the required functions with the minimum number of failures. Identifying potential failures modes during early design stages is essential to create reliable designs. Different engineering methodologies such as the Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) and Failure Modes Effects andCriticality Analysis (FMECA), allow engineers to identify how a set of components could fail. These methods are popular and commonly used in industry. However, such methodologies fail to recognize potential failure modes caused by human-product interaction. During the design of products, there is often a lack of sufficient attention to the human-product interaction. Even though human factors are supposed to be considered during the design process, most of the design approaches fail to incorporate user interactions correctly.  


In this research, we explore the implementation of a novel design methodology that identifies possible generic human errors while completing a subfunction of the product.

FHEDM Methodology
Actionfunction diagram Electric Screwdriver


This work is preliminary evidence that Human Factors Engineering can effectively be incorporated in a functional modeling basis for the design of inclusive products. FHDM can identify product functions that have a direct impact on the user and possible function-user interaction errors caused by generic human mistakes during the conceptual design stage. This method will provide engineers with useful information about potential failure modes caused by human-function interactions during early conceptual design. 

Future work needs to validate the results regardless of product scale and complexity. Finally, develop an overall Function Failure tool that includes the failures of components and functions while considering the human error of the user operating an engineering system.

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