Cable routing modeling in early system design to prevent cable failure propagation events

Bryan M. O'Halloran, Nikolaos Papakonstantinou, Douglas L. Van Bossuyt

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    In the early engineering design phases of complex systems and facilities with significant cable routing requirements, the protection of critical cabling infrastructure and separation of redundant cables is often not taken into account. Cable routing and management happens later in the design process after significant system architectural decisions have been made. Given the nature of cables where energy and signal functions are shared between major subsystems, the potential for failure propagation is significant. We propose the Cable Routing Function Failure Analysis (CRFFA) method of cable routing planning that integrates with functional modeling and function failure analysis of complex systems to be used during the early conceptual stages of design. Through a more complete understanding of power and data cabling requirements during the early phases of design, a system design can be developed that minimizes the potential for critical cable infrastructure to be collocated. Reductions in collocated critical cabling reduce potential failure propagation pathways. The method in this paper relies on functional failure propagation probability calculation methods to identify and avoid potentially high risk cable routing choices. The implementation of this method will help engineering practitioners to design complex systems and facilities that protect against cabling failure propagation events (cable raceway fires, cable bundle severing events, etc.) from the earliest phases of design. Thus, system reliability will increase while system failure probabilities, cost of system design, and design lifecycles will decrease.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationReliability and Maintainability Symposium (RAMS), 2016 Annual
    PublisherIEEE Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers
    ISBN (Electronic)978-1-5090-0249-8, 978-1-5090-0248-1
    Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2016
    MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
    EventAnnual Reliability and Maintainability Symposium, RAMS 2016 - Tucson, United States
    Duration: 25 Jan 201628 Jan 2016


    ConferenceAnnual Reliability and Maintainability Symposium, RAMS 2016
    Abbreviated titleRAMS 2016
    Country/TerritoryUnited States


    • Cable Routing
    • Cabling
    • Common Cause Failure
    • Complex System
    • Function Failure Methods
    • Risk Analysis


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