Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA)

A systematic/structured approach for determining the seriousness of potential failures and for identifying the sources of each potential failure.

The goal of FMEA is to identify potential failures and implement corrective actions to prevent failures from occurring. “PFMEA” focuses on identifying and remediating process failures.

Comments: Essentially all parts and or processes will eventually fail (at least occasionally). The FMEA process will help you minimize how serious and common failures are and the impact they have. Attention to FMEA during development phases of products or processes can pay huge dividends.

Using FMEA tools after products or processes have been developed is probably more common than employing them during development in general. Generally we find FMEA efforts employed to “fix” critical issues with a part or process problem after it has become very serious. It tends to be a “reactive” rather than “proactive” endeavor in most companies we have experience with.