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How do I use the DFR Planner in Xfmea/RCM++ 8?

Design for Reliability (DFR) is a process in which a set of reliability engineering practices are utilized early in a product's design and integrated into the entire product development cycle, thus minimizing the costs and maximizing the benefits of producing a reliable product. Because each stage of the DFR process may involve multiple activities (which can each involve multiple sub-activities), and because the full completion of one stage may be required before the team can move on to another stage, it is important to carefully manage each of the activities involved in the process.

The DFR Planner introduced in Version 8 of Xfmea/RCM++  is a tool that uses “gates” to manage the properties of each activity in a DFR process, including its status (e.g., in progress or complete), start date and due date. A DFR Planner can be added to any item in the system hierarchy by selecting the item and choosing Insert > Planning > Add DFR Planner. You can choose to create a plan based on an existing template or build a new one from scratch.

The gates represent the stages of a DFR process, and they are arranged in a tree-based configuration. For example, the configuration shown next represents part of a sample DFR plan in which the design stage consists of six activities.

DFR Planner - Design Stage

Certain properties of higher-level gates (e.g., status and due dates) are determined by the properties of their dependents. For example, if all six dependents in the above example were marked as complete, then the Design Phase gate would automatically be marked as complete. In this way, the DFR planner tracks how the progress of individual activities relates to the completion of the entire DFR process.

In addition, general Synthesis resources known as actions can be linked to gates and thus incorporated into the DFR plan. These resources represent activities that are assigned to specific people and can be tracked like any other action in a Synthesis project (e.g., the actions appear in the user’s personal portal, you can use e-mail notifications to follow up on an action’s status, etc.).

The DFR planner also includes a plot that displays a timeline of the process (or a specified part of it). To access the timeline, click the Plot tab at the bottom of the Analysis panel. A high-level example is shown next.

DFR Timeline Plot