Failure Mode and Effect Analysis, usually the abbreviation FMEA is used. It is an analytical technique, which aims to identify potential sites of defects or faults in systems. It was developed in the 60ies of the last century in the U.S. during the Apollo space program of NASA, as a tool for finding serious risks. The first civil use of this method was about 10 years later by Ford due to poor project quality of Ford Pinto. At the beginning of 80ies FMEA was processed into a single publication, and was included in the standard QS 9000. During the last 20 years, FMEA has evolved and expanded, for example, methods VDA, DRBFM, FMECA, etc. were created, which follow or are based on this method.
Use of the FMEA in practice: Principle of the FMEA method is a systematic identification of all possible defects in the product or process and its implications, identification of steps to prevent, reduce or limit the causes of these defects, and documentation of the entire process.
FMEA method can be used for various kinds of systems. Most commonly it is used in the production. It is a preventive method which allows timely identification of possible failures, errors or defects that may affect the function of the system or the final quality or safety. This also reduces risks. The method requires a lot of experience of the team with analyzed system - correct identification of possible faults and their consequences is based largely on experience and it is recommended to set the team from more people so that their knowledge and experience cover with each other.
Analysis by FTA method may be followed for more complex systems.
There are several applications of this method:
- DFMEA (Design Failure Mode and Effect Analysis)
- SFMEA (System Failure Mode and Effect Analysis)
- PFMEA (Process Failure Mode and Effect Analysis)
There is also its expanded form under the title FMECA (Failure Mode and Effect Analysis Critical).
FMEA became the basis of the standard IEC 60812 - Failure Mode and Effect Analysis.