Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 113–129 | Cite as

Evaluating the risk of failure using the fuzzy OWA and DEMATEL method

  • Kuei-Hu Chang
  • Ching-Hsue Cheng


Most current risk assessment methods use the risk priority number (RPN) value to evaluate the risk of failure. However, traditional RPN methodology has been criticized to have several shortcomings. Therefore, an efficient, simplified algorithm to evaluate the orderings of risk for failure problems is proposed in this paper, which utilizes fuzzy ordered weighted averaging (OWA) and the decision making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL) approach to rank the risk of failure. The proposed approach resolves some of the shortcomings of the traditional RPN method. In numerical verification, a failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) of the thin film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) product is presented to further illustrate the proposed approach. The results show that the proposed approach can reduce duplicated RPN numbers and get a more accurate, reasonable risk assessment. As a result, the stability of product and process can be assured.


Fuzzy set Ordered weighted averaging Decision making trial and evaluation laboratory Failure mode and effect analysis Risk priority number 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bowles, J. B. (2003). An assessment of RPN prioritization in a failure modes effects and criticality analysis. Processing annual reliability and maintainability symposium (pp. 380–386).Google Scholar
  2. Bowles J.B., Pelaez C.E. (1995) Fuzzy logic prioritization of failures in a system failure modes, effects and criticality analysis. Reliability Engineering & System Safety 50(2): 203–213. doi: 10.1016/0951-8320(95)00068-D CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chang K.H., Cheng C.H., Chang Y.C. (2008) Reliability assessment of an aircraft propulsion system using IFS and OWA tree. Engineering Optimization 40(10): 907–921. doi: 10.1080/03052150802132914 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chang, K. H., Cheng, C. H., & Chang, Y. C. (2009). Reprioritization of failures in a silane supply system using an intuitionistic fuzzy set ranking technique. Soft Computing (in press).Google Scholar
  5. Cheng C.H., Chang J.R. (2006) MCDM aggregation model using situational ME-OWA and ME-OWGA operators. International Journal of Uncertainty. Fuzziness and Knowledge-Based Systems 14(4): 421–443. doi: 10.1142/S0218488506004102 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Evie M.C.G. (2008) Which is the correct statistical test to use?. The British Journal of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery 46(1): 38–41. doi: 10.1016/j.bjoms.2007.09.002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Filev D., Yager R.R. (1995) Analytic properties of maximum entropy OWA operator. Information Sciences 85(1–3): 11–27. doi: 10.1016/0020-0255(94)00109-O CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fuller R., Majlender P. (2001) An analytic approach for obtaining maximal entropy OWA operator weights. Fuzzy Sets and Systems 124(1): 53–57. doi: 10.1016/S0165-0114(01)00007-0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gabus, A., & Fontela, E. (1973). Perceptions of the world problematique: Communication procedure, communicating with those bearing collective responsibility (DEMATEL Report No.1). Geneva, Switzerland: Battelle Geneva Research Centre.Google Scholar
  10. O’Hagan, M. (1988). Aggregating template or rule antecedents in real-time expert systems with fuzzy set logic. In Proceedings of the 22nd annual IEEE asilomar conference on signals, systems, computers (pp. 681–689), Pacific Grove, CA.Google Scholar
  11. Pillay A., Wang J. (2003) Modified failure mode and effects analysis using approximate reasoning. Reliability Engineering & System Safety 79(1): 69–85. doi: 10.1016/S0951-8320(02)00179-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Sadiq R., Tesfamariam S. (2007) Probability density functions based weights for ordered weighted averaging (OWA) operators: An example of water quality indices. European Journal of Operational Research 182(3): 1350–1368. doi: 10.1016/j.ejor.2006.09.041 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Sankar N.R., Prabhu B.S. (2001) Modified approach for prioritization of failures in a system failure mode and effects analysis. International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management 18(3): 324–335. doi: 10.1108/02656710110383737 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Seyed-Hosseini S.M., Safaei N., Asgharpour M.J. (2006) Reprioritization of failures in a system failure mode and effects analysis by decision making trial and evaluation laboratory technique. Reliability Engineering & System Safety 91(8): 872–881. doi: 10.1016/j.ress.2005.09.005 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. US Department of Defense Washington. DC. (1980). Procedures for performing a failure mode effects and criticality analysis, US MIL-STD-1629A.Google Scholar
  16. Wang J., Ruxton T., Labrie C.R. (1995) Design for safety of engineering systems with multiple failure state variables. Reliability Engineering & System Safety 50(3): 271–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Wu W.W., Lee Y.T. (2007) Developing global managers’ competencies using the fuzzy DEMATEL method. Expert Systems with Applications 32(2): 499–507. doi: 10.1016/j.eswa.2005.12.005 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Xu K., Tang L.C., Xie M., Ho S.L., Zhu M.L. (2002) Fuzzy assessment of FMEA for engine systems. Reliability Engineering & System Safety 75(1): 17–29. doi: 10.1016/S0951-8320(01)00101-6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Yager R.R. (1988) On ordered weighted averaging aggregation operators in multi-criteria decision making. IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics 18(1): 183–190. doi: 10.1109/21.87068 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Zadeh L.A. (1965) Fuzzy sets. Information and Control 8(3): 338–353. doi: 10.1016/S0019-9958(65)90241-X CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Management SciencesR.O.C. Military AcademyKaohsiungTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of Information ManagementNational Yunlin University of Science and TechnologyYunlinTaiwan

Personalised recommendations