ABSTRACT

Chapter 12, “A Primer on Product Risk Management,” introduces the concept of risk in light of reliability. During the course of product development, the design team should ask the following questions: What can potentially go wrong with the product? How serious will it be when it happens? How will it impact its users and how often will it happen? The result of the probability of a failure multiplied with the severity of the outcome of this failure is often referred to as risk. A common tool in risk assessment is design failure modes and effects analysis, which is also a reliability tool. By multiplying the rate of occurrence of a given failure mode by its severity, a risk priority number is calculated. There is also a qualitative approach called the risk assessment code table where terms such as catastrophic or marginal are used to described the severity of an event, and its probability of occurrence is assessed by such terms as remote or occasional. In this table, risk is quantified by terms such as serious or medium.