Risk management in medical product development process using traditional FMEA and fuzzy linguistic approach: a case study


1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Sardar Patel College of Engineering, Andheri, Mumbai, India

2 Department of Mechanical Engineering, K. J. Somaiya Polytechnic, Vidyavihar, Mumbai, India


Medical product development (MPD) process is highly multidisciplinary in nature, which increases the complexity and the associated risks. Managing the risks during MPD process is very crucial. The objective of this research is to explore risks during MPD in a dental product manufacturing company and propose a model for risk mitigation during MPD process to minimize failure events. A case study approach is employed. The existing MPD process is mapped with five phases of the customized phase gate process. The activities during each phase of development and risks associated with each activity are identified and categorized based on the source of occurrence. The risks are analyzed using traditional Failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA) and fuzzy FMEA. The results of two methods when compared show that fuzzy approach avoids the duplication of RPNs and helps more to convert cognition of experts into information to get values of risk factors. The critical, moderate, low level and negligible risks are identified based on criticality; risk treatments and mitigation model are proposed. During initial phases of MPD, the risks are less severe, but as the process progresses the severity of risks goes on increasing. The MPD process should be critically designed and simulated to minimize the number of risk events and their severity. To successfully develop the products/devices within the manufacturing companies, the process risk management is very essential. A systematic approach to manage risks during MPD process will lead to the development of medical products with expected quality and reliability. This is the first research of its kind having focus on MPD process risks and its management. The methodology adopted in this paper will help the developers, managers and researchers to have a competitive edge over the other companies by managing the risks during the development process.