Module 4A – Design

Chapter 2: Design Failure Mode & Effects Analysis (DFMEA)

Headlines on Product Failures:

XBOX 360

A photo two Xbox 360 video game consoles, black and white versions.

“Microsoft said Thursday that it will take a $1 billion charge as it extends the warranty on the Xbox 360, after an investigation showed the game console can be prone to hardware failures. ‘As a result of what Microsoft views as an unacceptable number of repairs to Xbox 360 consoles, the company conducted extensive investigations into potential sources of general hardware failures,’ Microsoft said in a statement.”[1]

FitBit Force, FitBit (2014)

Two FitBit Force bracelets, plastic watches with small screens on one side.

This version of the activity-tracking device was causing skin irritation and even blisters so severe that it resulted in a class-action lawsuit in California.[2]

Galaxy Note 7, Samsung (2016)

A photo of a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 with stylus, a large smartphone.

Launched in August of 2016, the Note 7 boasted powerful hardware and had consumers chomping at the bit to get their hands on them. The anticipation quickly faded, though, as reports of Note 7s catching fire started hitting the news.

By September 2, Samsung had stopped sales of the device. Next came a formal recall in the US on September 15th and a worldwide recall on October 10th. The product was completely abandoned on October 11th.[3]

Watch the Interactive Video: DFMEA 1

Watch the Interactive Video: DFMEA 2

Watch the Video: DFMEA Step-by-Step Example

DFMEA Example 1-Video Script [DOC]


Screenshot of the spreadsheet DFMEA with notes on each item's function potential failure effects, recommended actions, and more.
Ballpoint pen DFMEA example picture image. Click this link to view the full-size Ballpoint pen DFMEA example in the DMADVR Toolbox

Click on the links below to find two examples of math modeling and DFMEA documentation for both the MIRE TECH and Cassava Grinder ME 2700 design teams:    

CAUTION:  DFMEA template in the DMADVR Toolbox is slightly different but the process is the same! Read the assignment and follow the DMADVR Toolbox template!

DFMEA _Seeder Example

A screenshot of a large spreadsheet explaining the systems for each concept, potential effects of failure, root causes, and recommended actions to take and actions taken.
Click this image to view the full-size Seeder DFMEA from the DMADVR Toolbox image

  1. Fried, I. 2007. "Microsoft to extend Xbox 360 warranty, take $1 billion hit." CNET.
  2. CB Insights. 2021. "When Corporate Innovation Goes Bad — The 164 Biggest Product Failures Of All Time."
  3. Fisk, P. 2020. "Innovation Failures of the 21st Century … Amazon Fire and Google Allo, Mercedes Home Battery and Nike FuelBand … without failure, we don’t learn how to be better."


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Introduction to Mechanical Engineering Design Copyright © 2023 by Jacqulyn A. Baughman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.