This thesis presents researchin to the possibility of using Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) as a tool to share diagnostic knowledge between Engineering and
Field Service. This is achieved by developing a Diagnostic Service Tool (DST) from FMEA elements data. Combined with field service information this diagnostic tool
produced an effective field service centred troubleshooting strategy. This research
was also aimed at assisting designers in developing diagnostic service tools early in
the design stage, improving the accuracy of the FMEA and keeping the data updated.
A system for computerised interactive FMEA generation from FMEA elements has been created from the research. An extensive literature review has been carried out on
the background to FMEA, the current FMEA tools and diagnostic research. An
object-oriented FMEA model has been adopted and expanded to generate the FMEA elements and diagnostic FMP-A. The implementation of an object-oriented FMEA environment and the use of FMEA object libraries have promoted the reuse of existing information and has increased data availability for the diagnostic tool development. The DST is an extended application from the automated FMEA
generation. It utilizes the existing failure mode data to determine further
characteristics of parts failure. As a result, a tool in the form of diagnostic software is created which is practical for real life use. The prototype software was evaluated in a field service application using four automatic transmission problem cases. The results showed that there was significant difference in repair times between the conventional repair manuals and DST. On average the reduction in repair time due to using DST
was 60.5%. This research as demonstrated that the prototype software is successful
in providing effective field service centered tools to the Field Service and in turn a method of providing feedback to the Designer. Hence, knowledge sharing between
Engineering and Vield Service can be carried out continuously to provide a significant
improvement in product lifecycle.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.