How do we get the Key Product Characteristics KPC from DFMEA?

Design Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (DFMEA) is the methodology to identify the potential design risk before the design is finalized. So here is the key term that how we get the product characteristics derived from FMEA.

Know about Key product characteristics

The key product characteristics are the unique design feature characteristics impacting the product’s safety, regulation, form, fitment, or performance. 

It can be also known as special product characteristics / significant characteristics (SC) / KPC.

Now, what makes the product characteristics special/key/significant. So, it all depends on the applications, customer requirements, and company policies.

You can read about the special and critical characteristics in the post below
Read more: What are the Significant (SC) and Critical characteristics(CC) in Manufacturing & Design Industry?

For all key product characteristics, we need special controls to identify and it can be treated as a high priority and taken care in the process.

What are the ways you can get Key product characteristics?

1. Customer requirement – The customer provides the list of key product characteristics/drawings mentioning symbols of key characteristics. Sometimes customers provide the safety or regulatory design features and functions. So to fulfill those functions what product characteristics are responsible to be treated as Key Product characteristics.

2. Lessons learned from the previous program and feature reference drawings contain the Key characteristics.

3. Some key characteristics are defined as per company policy. Because many companies have their own criteria to identify the KPC from DFMEA, customer requirements, etc.

How to identify the KPC from DFMEA?

Now in the Design FMEA, the process is first you will identify the functions of the product.

Then the next step is to identify the potential failure mode.

Further, what will be the effects of that potential failure modes. And usually the next is to identify the potential causes of that failure mode.

It’s time to identify the KPC from the causes of the failure. If you see the details in DFMEA, based on the effects you have the severity value and the occurrence value for the failure cause.

DFMEA template
DFMEA Template AIAG 4th Edition form
Product char in dfmea
DFMEA Template AIAG-VDA 1st Edition form

Now, If the Design FMEA team identifies the correct cause for the failure. Then the cause is the design deficiency which leads to the failure mode. 

The criteria to identify the Key product characteristics from DFMEA are not mentioned in any universal standard. It is purely based on organizational standards. Some organizations identify the Key product characteristics based on severity or based on severity and occurrence. Finally, It’s purely the choice organization.

If the identified cause of failure is sufficient enough to meet the defined criteria then it can be considered a Key product characteristic.

Then you will add the Class symbol for those KPC points in Design FMEA and the identified KPC.

This information will help to link the DFMEA and PFMEA.

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