Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA)
Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is a systematic, proactive method for evaluating a process to identify where and how it might fail and to assess the relative impact of different failures, in order to identify the parts of the process that are most in need of change. This technique is commonly used in the manufacturing, automotive and aerospace industries, but can be applied to any process or system.
One of the key tools used in FMEA is the FMEA Sheet, which is used to document and track the potential failure modes, their effects, and the actions taken to address them. The FMEA Sheet is a structured form that contains a number of different fields, including:
- ID: a unique identifier for the failure mode
- Name: a brief description of the failure mode
- Item: a reference to the specific item or process that is being analyzed
- Potential Cause: a description of the potential cause(s) of the failure mode
- Failure Local Effects: a description of the effects of the failure mode at the local level
- Next Higher Level Effects: a description of the effects of the failure mode at the next higher level of the system
- System Level Effect: a description of the effects of the failure mode at the highest level of the system
- Detection Dormancy: a description of the time between when the failure occurs and when it is detected
- Evidence: a description of the evidence or symptoms that would indicate the failure has occurred
- Mitigation: a description of the actions that can be taken to prevent or mitigate the failure mode
- Severity: a rating of the severity of the failure mode (0 = no relevant effect, 1 = very minor, 2 = minor, 3 = critical, 4 = catastrophic)
- Occurrence Probability: a rating of the probability of the failure mode occurring (1 = extremely unlikely, 2 = remote, 3 = occasional, 4 = reasonably possible, 5 = frequent)
- Detection Probability: a rating of the probability of the failure mode being detected (1 = certain, 2 = almost certain, 3 = high, 4 = moderate, 5 = low, 6 = undetected)
- Risk Preference Number: a calculated value that represents the overall risk of the failure mode
- Risk Level: a rating of the risk level of the failure mode (0 = low, 1 = moderate, 2 = high, 3 = unacceptable)
Using the Software Ideas Modeler, you can create an FMEA Sheet in a few simple steps. The editor contains a toolbar that contains buttons for creating new failure modes, removing existing ones, exporting the sheet to CSV, and printing the sheet. The editor also contains a sheet/grid, which is the main interface for documenting the failure modes, their effects, and the actions taken to address them.
The sheet contains a number of different fields, including ID, Name, Item, Potential Cause, Failure Local Effects, Next Higher Level Effects, System Level Effect, Detection Dormancy, Evidence, Mitigation, Severity, Occurrence Probability, Detection Probability, Risk Preference Number, and Risk Level. These fields are used to document and track the potential failure modes, their effects, and the actions taken to address them.
The first step in creating an FMEA sheet is to identify the system or process that you want to analyze. This could be a product, service, or even a business process. Once you have identified the system or process, you can begin to identify the potential failure modes for each component.
Once you have identified and evaluated the potential failure modes and effects, you can begin to develop recommendations for mitigating or eliminating them. This could include design changes, process changes, or additional testing or validation. It is also important to assign a responsible party for implementing each recommended action and to include a target completion date.
- Create a FMEA for each process, subsystem, or product
- Identify the potential failure mode, its cause and effects, and the steps that can be taken to mitigate it.
- Use the FMEA sheet to track the progress of the FMEA process and to document the actions that have been taken to address the failure modes
- Use the FMEA sheet to identify the areas of the process that are most in need
FMEA Sheet Example
|ID||Name||Item||Potential Cause||Failure Local Effects||Next Higher Level Effect||System Level End Effect||Detection Dormancy Period||Evidence||Mitigation||Severity||Occurence Probability||Detection Probability||Risk Preference Number||Risk Level|
|F001||Air conditioning system||Air conditioning unit [C001]||"Power failure"||Room temperature rises||Increased discomfort for occupants||Reduced productivity||Regular maintenance check||Temperature sensor readings||Install backup generator||3 - Minor||4 - Reasonably Possible||5 - Low||17||Unacceptable|
|F002||Elevator system||Elevator car [C002]||Overload||"Elevator car becomes stuck"||Stranded occupants||Reduced accessibility||Load sensor readings||"Overload indicator activated"||Install load sensors with alarm||3 - Minor||2 - Remote||3 - High||9||Moderate|
|F003||Fire alarm system||Smoke detector [C003]||"Dust accumulation"||False alarm||Disruption of activities||"Reduced trust in alarm system"||"Regular cleaning and maintenance"||Dust buildup on detector||Schedule regular cleaning and maintenance||2 - Very Minor||2 - Remote||4 - Moderate||8||Low|
|F004||Water supply system||Water pump [C004]||"Power failure"||"No water pressure"||"Inability to use fixtures"||"Reduced sanitation"||"Regular maintenance check"||Power failure indicator activated||Install backup generator||4 - Critical||4 - Reasonably Possible||5 - Low||21||Unacceptable|
|F005||"Security camera system"||Camera [C005]||Vandalism||Camera becomes non-functional||Reduced surveillance||Increased security risks||"Regular maintenance check"||Physical damage to camera||Install vandal-proof cameras||Minor||Occasional||High||12||Moderate|