Failure Prevention in Design through Effective Catalogue Utilization of Historical Failure Events


The science of failure prevention relies heavily on the experience of personnel on a project. As the nation is about to face a tremendous decline in the experienced workforce due to the baby boomer generation's retirement, it is critical to begin focusing on capturing their knowledge. Cataloging and communicating the knowledge of potential failures is critical to prevent engineering disasters. Many companies have adopted failure-reporting systems that allow them to record their engineering failures to promote failure prevention. While recording this information is vital to learning from past mistakes, often the information is not stored so that engineers and designers can easily recall this valuable linguistic information and use it to improve designs. Therefore, more effective systems for cataloging and utilizing corporate memory of recorded failure events are needed. This article presents the design of a computational linguistic database to support the failure prevention tool, the risk in early design (RED) method. RED promotes failure prevention by identifying failure risks as early as the conceptual phase of product design, where impacts of failure prevention are greatest. It uses a database populated by historical failure event information to present specific areas that are at risk of failure in a product.


Engineering Management and Systems Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Design; Failure Analysis; Failure Prevention; Risk Assessment

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2008 Springer Verlag, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Oct 2008