Technical Analysis


DFMEA. Click to enlarge.

Technical analysis is necessary to validate or disprove engineering hypotheses. Analysis also provides feedback to design and manufacturing teams, and supports industrialization functions like fixture design and tooling.

There are many different types of technical analysis, ranging from spreadsheet models to complex simulations to collective analysis.  Different types of products and markets have very different requirements in some cases, while other types of analysis—FMEAs and DFx for example—apply to almost anything.


Failure Mode Effect Analysis (FMEA) is a tool used to predict failures before they happen, and more importantly, allow for corrective action to be taken such as modifying the design or the process.  Zebulon Solutions can help facilitate FMEAs as well as provide subject matter expertise


Tolerance analysis

Tolerances—be they mechanical, electrical, optical or whatever—have a severe impact on both product functionality but also manufacturability.  In particular, tolerance stack ups—where one component aligns to a second which in turn aligns to a third, and so on, instead of all aligning to a datum—can destroy yields and even reliability.  Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing (GD&T) is one variant of this type of analysis.


DFx—design for manufacturing / assembly / test / fabrication / cost / supply chain—analysis is fundamental to closing the feedback loop during the design phase.  Over 80% of a product’s cost is locked in during the first 20% of the design.  DFx should be conducted iteratively at each sub-phase of the design—it is not wise to wait until the design is complete. Checklists are a vital tool.

Other types of technical analysis

GRRThere are many other types of analysis that may be needed depending on the nature of the design and the specialized requirements of the product.  Diverse examples include:

  • Finite element analysis (FEA)
  • Gauge repeatability and reproducibility  (GRR)
  • Power consumption
  • Circuit simulation
  • Carbon footprint
  • Mean time to failure (MTTF)
  • Monte Carlo simulation
  • Test coverage
  • Many more

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