FMEA Quality Tool

Have you heard about FMEA, but remain unsure of its use as a quality tool? Well, FMEA is the acronym for Failure Modes and Effects Analysis.

Failure Modes are the ways in which something might fail. The failures are actual or potential errors or defects, especially those affecting the customer.

Effects Analysis refers to studying the consequences or effects of those failures.

Failures are prioritized according to the seriousness of their consequences, the frequency of their occurrence, and likelihood of their detection. The purpose of FMEA is to take actions to eliminate or reduce failures, starting with the higher priority ones.

FMEA is used during design to prevent failures. Later, it is used for control before and during operation of the process. Ideally, FMEA begins during the earliest conceptual stages of design and continues throughout the life of the product or service. It is a step-by-step approach for identifying all possible failures in a design, a manufacturing or assembly process, or a product or service.

To see an FMEA example from The Quality Toolbox, go to this ASQ web page.