It has been established and widely accepted that the early phases of the engineering design process are the most critical to the technical and economical success of a new product. Most of the product’s performance and failures are determined and more than 75% of its life cycle cost is committed during the conceptual design phase. A major step in all conceptual design methodologies is the concept selection phase, where out of the many concepts generated, one is selected and it becomes the basis for the favored solution. Such a selection must be influenced by the potential failure modes, that the product, which is based on the chosen concept, may suffer from and will be exposed to in the future. In the past, the well established Failure Mode and Effects Analysis - FMEA was used for this purpose, but in the system level only. The proposed, new Conceptual Failure Mode Analysis - CFMA is a modified version of FMEA, that was developed for use in the conceptual design phase of a new product. CFMA enables to select the preferred concept (out of many generated), based also on future potential failure modes. CFMA is considered by the authors, as a major and important attribute in concept selection, that can now be taken into account in new concepts evaluation. CFMA is also shown as a vital part of the prescriptive Integrated, Customer Driven, Conceptual Design Method - ICDM, that has recently been introduced by the authors. It is the aim of this paper to introduce CFMA as a substantial additional tool for concept selection.

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