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FMEA Failure Mode and Effects Analysis October 4, 2007

Posted by Coolguy in Six Sigma.
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FMEA is a technique for elimination of any type of failure in products or services.

FMEA is defined as a group of activities to

  • Recognize and evaluate the potential failure of a product/process and effects of that failure
  • Identify the actions that eliminate or reduce the failure
  • Document the entire process

FMEA’s are used for new designs and technologies and modification for existing process or design. It can be used in conjunction with Pareto Analysis, which is used to prioritize potential failure modes.

Steps for FMEA are:

  • Decide on process
  • Study process
  • Identify potential failure modes
  • Rate severity, occurance and detection levels
  • Compute risk priority number and prioritize (RPN)
  • Implement corrective actions and re-evaluate RPN”s
  • Update the table


  1. Improved product/service functions
  2. Lowered warranty costs
  3. Reduced manufacturing problems
  4. Increased customer satisfaction

Types of FMEA:

  • System: Deals with systems, sub-systems and components
  • Design:  DFMEA will reduce risk of failures. Focus is on failures caused by design deficiencies.
  • Process: PFMEA focuses on manufacturing and assembly process.
  • Service FMEA: Investigate services before they reach customer. Covers financial, legal, health-care industries etc. Heath care has its own customized version.