Services – Quality Robustness and Problem Solving2019-01-10T18:50:19+01:00

Quality, Robustness & Problem Solving

At 3sK we underpin our work with robust methods and processes. We can provide fresh eyes analysis for your existing Failure Mode Avoidance and Robustness Analysis or lead the work from the start.  In either case 3sK will provide honest and transparent analysis of your complex system or problems.

3sK consultants have extensive experience of  applying pragmatic failure mode avoidance methodology and problem solving techniques within embedded systems. One of our consultants is certified as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, and if appropriate, we can lead Six Sigma problem solving projects for either development or production issues.

3sK can support you within the following disciplines:

Failure Mode Avoidance & Robustness Studies

  • Failure Mode Effect Analysis
  • Fault Tree Analysis
  • Parameter Diagrams
  • Robustness Analysis
  • Noise Factor Management
  • Interface Behavioural Analysis
  • Boundary Diagrams and Interfaces (Physical-Material-Energy-Information)
  • Robustness Verification Testing

Problem Solving & Lean Six Sigma

  • DMAIC (Define-Measure-Analyse-Improve-Control)
  • Problem Investigation and Definition, 5-Why’s, Fishbone, Is/ Is Not
  • Measurement System Analysis & Gauge R&R (Repeatability and Reproducibility)
  • Statistical Data Analysis (Data Stability, Normality, Correlation)
  • Probability Distributions & Analysis of Variance
  • Hypothesis Testing
  • Statistical Process Control
  • Design of Experiments
  • Response Surface Modelling & Variable Interaction / Dependency Analysis


Failure Mode Avoidance & Robustness Studies:

The required approach depends upon the type of system, complexity of system and the acceptable level of risk. If the system function in analysis is discrete (e.g. driver selectable vehicle operating modes), then usually a FMEA is appropriate. Whereas, if the system function in analysis is continuous (e.g. electric motor torque estimation system), then noise factor analysis is highly recommended, such as through use of parameter diagram analysis (illustrated below) and the application of the derived noise factor management methods.


The acceptable level of risk is an important quantity to establish prior to, and during the analysis. If complex and time consuming Failure Mode Avoidance methods are applied to the development of every feature and/or system, the cost and time would become prohibitive. It is therefore recommended that we agree the principles of risk management.

Depending upon the Use Cases and Products, and our customers ‘risk adverseness’, the level of acceptable risk will vary. We will collaborate with you to determine these principles and take a suitable, pragmatic approach.

Problem Solving:

Problems and their circumstances are all different, so having a rigid and consistent process would not be the correct approach. We use an agile mindset and select the appropriate methods and tools from our problem-solving toolbox. After all, there is no value in using a sledge hammer to crack a nut!

The problems may occur, or be predicted to occur, during product development or when in production. They could be safety, regulatory, customer issue, warranty, or internal problems such as high rework levels or unacceptable levels of waste.

If you approach 3sK for support in solving complex problems, we will act with urgency to correctly define and analyse the problem prior to developing and deploying improvements. We will utilise the most pragmatic framework for the specific problem, such as DMAIC or 8D.

8D and DMAIC

Work Products

Below are examples of the types of activity 3sK can undertake, but we can adapt and extend to meet your needs.

  • Generation and/or review of FMEA, Boundary Diagrams
  • Fault tree analysis of distributed systems
  • Identification of supplementary (fault detection and mitigation) system requirements to avoid failures
  • Identification and analysis of noise factors which effect system performance or operation
  • Developing noise factor management strategies
  • System interface analysis to identify design weaknesses and robustness concerns
  • Lead investigation and resolution of complex embedded system problems, usually at your business location and with the support of your engineers

All work products are compliant with relevant standards appropriate for the domain, such as Automotive SPICE, ISO 26262, ISO 15288.

Format of work products will be agreed between 3sK and our customer.

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