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used to test variances or dispersion effects. Fpr example, if a company has two manufacturing lines making the same product but different regions of the world, a F-test may be used to compare the variance of one line's output vs. that of the other. [Statistical inference tests to compare the quality of different products / processes and compare the performance of different groups.]

Factor Analysis
a statistical method used to describe variability among observed variables in terms of fewer unobserved variables.

Factorial Design
Factorial design are generally employed in engineering and manufacturing experiments. It is appropriate when several factors are to be investigated at two or more levels and interaction of factors may be important. Also see Design of Experiments.
Full Factorial Designs study of two or more factors where all possible combinations of the levels of the factors are investigated. In brief, 2k Full Factorial involves: a) an experiment with k factors; b) each factor is studied at 2 levels (high-low); c) investigate all combination of factors and levels. Note: 3k full factorials studies k factors, each at 3 levels (high, medium, low).  

an event when a process or machinery is not able to perform scheduled operations to specification. Failures are two types - catastrophic (random - without warning) failures and wear-out (slow degradation) failures. Failures can be attributed to operating a process outside its performance parameters, product / process variability and lack of proper maintenance.

Failure Analysis
is a systematic examination of a failed process, equipment or product. Tools used in failure analysis - failure mode analysis, fault tree analysis, failure mode and effects analysis, 8D and 5-Why process.

Failure Mode Analysis - FMA
Developed from a fault tree, a FMA chart is usually prepared to assess the probability of and assign priority to potential root causes of failure. FMA helps analyze the ways a component or system has failed.

Failure Mode Avoidance
a quality discipline with focus on finding failure modes early in the development process, then applying countermeasures to fix them. D Clausing suggested FMA as a pragmatic strategy to achieve reliability improvement.

Failure Mode and Effects Analysis - FMEA
Failure Mode and Effects Analysis is systematized technique which identifies and ranks the potential failure modes of a design or manufacturing process in order to prioritize improvement actions. FMEA useful in measure & improve phase of DMAIC and characterize in DFSS. Provides information in quantifying weighted priorities, risks and contributing characteristics of a problem. Helps drive team consensus. Click here for a small presentation from WISC | FMEA form | developing a FMEA | SAE J-1739 Recommended Practice for FMEA

Fault Tree Analysis
A deductive analysis method that provides a systematic description of the combinations of possible occurrences in a system that can result in failure. It is a graphical representation of the boolean logic that relates to the result. The method can be applied as a diagnosis and development tool and is especially helpful in early design stages. This was developed in 1962 by HA Watson (Bell Laboratories) for the US Air Force. Boeing adopted this in 1966.

A determination that a process, design, procedure, or plan can be successfully accomplished in the required time frame.

Finite Element Analysis
A technique for modeling a complex structure. When the mathematical model is subjected to known loads, the displacement of the structure may be determined.

First Time Capability - FTC
First Time Capability measures the degree to which a new process produces the desired result (for example, an assembly with acceptable SPC performance) without rework and production delays.

Fish Bone Diagram or a Cause & Effect Diagram
A systematic analysis tool that organizes the effects of a problem and its possible causes, in a graphical display that often resembles the skeleton of a fish. Also called Ishikawa diagram after its developer.

Flow Chart
Organize information about a process in a graphical manner thus making it clear who is impacted.

Focus Group Survey
Help better understand customer perceptions of a company's products/services. Focus groups consist of 8-10 current or potential customers who meet for a few hours to discuss a product and is usually moderated.

Forming, Storming, Norming, & Performing (FSNP, teamwork)
Forming (bringing the team together, defing the task and the boundaries), Storming (brainstorming possible solutions and sifting through the ideas to pick the ones to evaluate), Norming (getting the team buy-in and working through the list of solutions) and Performing (implementing the possible solutions).

Functional Verification
Functional Verification is testing to ensure the part conforms to all customer and supplier engineering performance and material requirements. Functional verification (to applicable customer engineering material and performance standards) may be required by some customers annually unless another frequency is established in a customer approval control plan. Results shall be available for customer review upon request.

Future Reality Tree - FRT
(part of the Theory of Constraints Thinking Process) FRT is an effect-cause-effect sequence designed to show how a proposed changes would affect reality; specifically how and why we expect the proposal to produce a desired outcome. It is a paper-based logical simulation to test a proposed change for its ability to produce desired effects, as well as to test a change's tendency to produce new, undesirable effects. These undesirable effects, out on the limbs of negative branches of the tree, may then be explored to determine what additional changes/preparations may be necessary to avoid them.

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