Because the Mechanical Design Office at AWE wanted everyone to have the same understanding of FMEA, the entire team is attending the IMechE course in stages. Hare attended the first of three batches of training in July 2022, with the rest of the team attending on subsequent days. To accommodate this, the IMechE provided in-person training exclusively to AWE.
Hare explains that the instructor delivered training on an FMEA method which is generally used at large companies like AWE, and so “was based around doing it in one particular way.” However, it was still tailored to AWE since, “the examples that were used in the course, we were asked to bring ourselves. So, it became unique to us.”
Hare says he was impressed by the instructor, who was “full of energy and good at getting us in a collaborative mood.” The course involved a lot of group work, with Hare and his colleagues being taught a concept then putting it into practice in small teams.
There are several things that Hare found especially useful. For example, standard FMEA processes have a scoring system of one to nine to assess how likely a feature is to fail. Hare says that, “if you were to apply that without any training, you might have arguments with other people about whether something should be scored seven or eight. But what we were taught was that really, it doesn't matter.” The instructor gave the team a different scoring system (1;3;6;9) which would help “eliminate time wasting conversations that have no value.” Hare says he found this approach refreshing, as it can reduce the risk of overthinking things and therefore save time.
The instructor also introduced the AWE team to a “priority matrix” which, as the name suggests, can help identify the most important issues in a mechanical design or process, and is a “useful tool in where we focus our attention,” Hare says.
Besides this, the team brought back a lot of slides, presentations and course material to refer to later and begin applying.