When designing a product, the earlier the potential risks can be identified, the more costs can be saved, as it is easier to modify a design in its early stages. Several methods exist to analyze the risk in a system, but all require a mature design. However, by applying the concept of “common interfaces” to a functional model and utilizing a historical knowledge base, it is possible to analyze chains of failures during the conceptual phase of product design. This paper presents a method based on these “common interfaces” to be used in conjunction with other methods such as Risk in Early Design in order to allow a more complete risk analysis during the conceptual design phase. Finally, application of this method is demonstrated in a design setting by applying it to a thermal control subsystem.

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