As a business owner, you want to know and understand why certain designs and processes in your structure prove successful, why others fail, and what corrective measures to take to prevent the occurrence of failures. For this, you can use a failure mode and effects analysis or FMEA example.
What is FMEA?
The FMEA analysis is a systematic and qualitative tool you create in a spreadsheet. It helps you foresee what could go wrong with a process or product. Aside from helping you pinpoint how a process or product might fail and the effects therein, the FMEA also helps uncover the probable causes of such failures and the probability of discovering failures before they happen.
Today, FMEA is one of the most common tools used by many industries to analyze potential reliability issues early in their development cycle. As such it makes things easier to take immediate action and lessen the impact of the failure.
This ability to foresee problems at an early stage allows you to design out the failures while designing in safe, customer-pleasing, and reliable features.
Finding Failure Modes in FMEA
One of the first steps in the development of an FMEA report design is to identify the participants. The right individuals with the required experiences should get involved so that they can determine and identify possible failure modes.
The participants should also consider inviting suppliers and customers to gather alternative viewpoints. As soon as you have chosen the participants, deliberations can begin.
You and your team must pinpoint all the processes, functions, and components that have the potential to fail in meeting the required level of reliability and quality. Aside from describing the effects of the failures, you must also determine the probable causes.
FMEA Template Excels
Criteria for FMEA Analysis
Every FMEA example uses the following criteria when assessing an issue:
- How severe the issue affects the customer.
- How often the issue will occur.
- How easily you can detect the issue.
For each failure mode, the members of your team must establish then agree on the ranking between 1 and 10 for the occurrence, detection level, and severity. Even if the FMEA is a qualitative process, you should still utilize data to qualify all of the decisions you make in terms of these ratings.
As soon as you have determined the failure modes, the participants should now make adjustments to the FMEA by listing the failures in descending order. These adjustments highlight the parts where you will focus your corrective actions on. In case they have limited resources, the participants should set priorities by tackling the biggest issues first.
In the process of prioritizing, there isn’t a definitive threshold to determine which parts should get the most attention. Usually, the decision depends on several factors, which may include safety or legal requirements, quality control, and industry standards.
But a good starting point is to use the Pareto rule. Using this as a rule of thumb, your team can then focus your attention initially on the failures with the top 20% of the highest scores.
When your team has agreed on the priorities, one of the final steps to take is to make a list of corrective solutions to reduce the chance of failure modes or at least improve their detection. As the FMEA leader, you’re responsible for assigning these actions and setting target dates of completion.
After completing the corrective actions, your team must meet again – this time to rescore and reassess the occurrence probability, the likelihood of identification, and the severity of the top failure modes.
Doing this allows you to determine how effective the corrective actions you have taken were. These final assessments can be very helpful in case your team decides that there is a need to enforce new corrective actions.
What are the different types of FMEA?
The Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is an organized approach used in identifying possible failures that might exist within the design of a process or product.
The term “failure modes” refers to the different ways in which a product or process can fail while “effects” are what these failures can result in, like defects, harmful outcomes to the customer or waste. As the title implies, the design of an FMEA example allows you to identify, limit, and prioritize the failure modes.
FMEA improves good engineering through the application of experience and knowledge of a Cross-Functional Team to examine the design progress of a process or product by evaluating its potential for failure. There are two main types of FMEA:
Design FMEA (DFMEA)
This type of FMEA analysis explores the probability of reduced product life, product malfunctions, and even regulatory and safety concerns taken from the following factors:
- Interfaces with other systems or components
- Material Properties
- Engineering Noise from user profiles, environments, systems interactions or degradation
Process FMEA (PFMEA)
This type of FMEA report design helps you discover failure that may impact decreased reliability of the process, product quality, environmental or safety hazards, and customer dissatisfaction derived from the following:
- Environmental factors on the performance of processes
- Human factors
- Machines utilized
- Materials used
- Measurement systems that impact acceptance
- Methods that you followed while processing
How do you write an FMEA?
To reiterate, the Failure Modes and Effects Analysis or FMEA example is a risk management tool designed to identify and quantify the effect of probable failures in a process. Following are the steps used for writing an FMEA template Excel:
- Identify each of the Process Steps or Parts
- Identify each of the Possible Failure Modes or all of the ways in which the processes or parts could fail.
- Identify any possible Effects of the Failure like the consequences on other parts, people or systems.
- Rank the Severity of the Effect using a scale from 1-10).
- Evaluate the Possible Causes or Mechanisms of Failure.
- Rank the Probability of Occurrence using a scale from 1-10).
- Make a list of your recent design controls.
- Rank your ability to identify a failure with these controls using a scale of 1-10.
- Calculate the risk-priority number (RPN) for each of the steps or parts.
- Design your recommended improvement actions.
- Assign target completion date and responsibility for implementing the designed improvements.
- Monitor the actions taken along with the effects on RPN.