Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA)

Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA)The quest for design and production excellence is an ongoing problem in the fieldsof engineering, manufacturing, and other related businesses. Failure Mode andEffect Analysis (FMEA) has become a key idea in this endeavor, helping tomethodically identify and mitigate probable faults in a system, process, or product.An organized method called Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) assistscompanies in anticipating dangers and enhancing overall dependability

Measurement Systems Evaluation

Objectives of Failure Mode and
Effect Analysis (FMEA)

Determine Possible Modes of Failure

Finding every potential method that a system, process, or product could go wrong is one of the main goals of FMEA. This entails taking into account both typical and uncommon failure scenarios.

Evaluate the Impact of Failure Severity

The goal of FMEA is to assess the possible outcomes or impacts of every failure mode that has been identified. Depending on the significance of each failure mode, this assessment assists in prioritizing which ones need to be addressed right away.

Identify Failure Causes

For risk mitigation to be effective, it is essential to comprehend the underlying causes of probable failures. A thorough examination of the variables that may contribute to the occurrence of failure modes is encouraged by FMEA.

Assess Current Limits

Examining current safeguards and controls is part of the FMEA process. By highlighting opportunities for improvement, this assessment assists in determining how well the current procedures prevent or detect problems

Give Risks Priority

The process of calculating Risk Priority Numbers (RPN) is facilitated by FMEA, which rates each failure mode according to its Severity, Occurrence, and Detection. Setting risk priorities enables organizations to concentrate on resolving the most important problems first.

Create Preventive Measures

Creating action plans and preventive actions to reduce or eliminate potential failure modes is one of the main goals of the proactive tool known as failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA). This entails creating and putting into action modifications to lower the likelihood of errors

Strengthen Robustness and Reliability

Improving the overall resilience and reliability of systems, processes, or products is the ultimate purpose of FMEA. FMEA helps to build more dependable and resilient systems by addressing possible vulnerabilities before they become failures.

Encourage Making Decisions

FMEA offers insightful information that can help with decision-making at every stage of the process—design, manufacture, and operation. This aids businesses in making decisions that maximize performance and reduce risks.

Encourage ongoing development

FMEA promotes a continual improvement culture; it is not a one-time event. Organizations can react to evolving conditions, technology, and possible risks over time by routinely reviewing and upgrading their FMEA.

Encourage Cooperation and Communication

Cross-functional teams frequently collaborate during FMEA to assess and resolve possible issues. Collaboration among team members is encouraged by this method, which also guarantees that different viewpoints add to a more thorough risk analysis.

Adhere to Rules and Guidelines

Adherence to norms and standards is crucial in numerous sectors. FMEA provides a methodical approach to risk management and quality improvement, which helps organizations satisfy these objectives.

Cutting Expenses

Cost reductions might result from seeing any problems early in the design or process phase and taking appropriate action. When a process or product fails, FMEA assists companies in avoiding warranty claims, recalls, and expensive rework.

Components of Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA)

Failure mode

Failure modes are the possible ways in which a system or process can malfunction. One of the most important steps in FMEA is to identify every potential failure mode.


This word describes the results or repercussions that follow a failuremode. When determining which failure modes to address initially, the severity of these impacts plays a critical role.


Creating effective preventative measures requires an understanding of the underlying reasons for failure modes.

Present Regulators

System improvement requires assessing current controls and how well they prevent or identify faults.

Types of Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA)


Focuses on the entire system.


Concentrates on potential failures in the design phase.

Process FMEA (PFMEA)

Analyzes potential failures in the manufacturing or operational processes.

Software FMEA

Analyzes the software developmental process.


Analyzing how end-users interact with a product or system

Key Concepts of Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA)

Failure Mode

The specific way in which a process or system can fail.


The impact or consequence of a failure mode on the overall process

Severity (S)

A numerical rating assigned to the likelihood of a failure mode occurring. It assesses the frequency with which a failure mode is expected to happen.

Occurrence (O)

A numerical rating assigned to the likelihood of a failure mode occurring. It assesses the frequency with which a failure mode is expected to happen.

Detection (D)

A numerical rating assigned to the ability to detect a failure mode before it reaches the customer. It helps in prioritizing failure modes based on the likelihood of detection.

Implementation of Failure Mode and
Effect Analysis (FMEA)

Forming a Team

A thorough FMEA requires assembling a cross-functional team with a range of experience. People from the design, production, quality control, and other pertinent departments might be included in this.

FMEA Steps

Determine the Process or System:Clearly state what the FMEA's scope is.

Enumerate Possible Failure Modes:List every possible scenario that could go wrong with the system or procedure.

Rate the occurrence, detection, and severity: Rate each failure mode's likelihood of occurring, severity, and detection using a scale.

Determine the RPNs (risk priority numbers): Ratings for severity, occurrence, and detection are multiplied to get RPN. Prioritizing which problems to take care of first is helpful.

Construct Action Plans: Set goals and create plans of action to reduce or eliminate high-risk failure modes.

Benefits of Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA)

Preventive Risk Administration

Reactive measures are less necessary when FMEA assists organizations in identifying and resolving possible problems before they become a source of failure.

Cutting Expenses

Dealing with problems after production or implementation is more expensive than addressing possible faults early in the design or process phase.

Ongoing Enhancement

FMEA adds to a continuous improvement process by methodically identifying and resolving flaws, improving overall system reliability.

Improvement of Quality

FMEA aids in the creation of reliable systems and processes, which leads to the production of goods and services of a higher caliber

Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) Process


Decide on the System or Process

Set the parameters for the analysis's scope first. Determine which system or process has to be evaluated.


Assemble a Cross-Functional Team

To provide a variety of viewpoints to the analysis, assemble a team of people from different departments.


Determine Process Steps

Identify each stage in the chosen process. This offers a thorough overview of the whole system.


Identify Failure Modes:

The team determines possible failure modes or ways in which the process could go wrong, for every stage in the process.


Evaluate Severity (S), Occurrence (O), and Detection (D)

Rate each failure category numerically, ranging from 1 to 10, for severity, occurrence, and detection, respectively


Determine the Risk Priority Number (RPN)

Determine the Risk Priority Number (RPN) by multiplying the scores for each failure mode's occurrence, severity, and detection. This number aids in ranking which failure modes need to be addressed right away.


Set priorities and carry out corrective actions:

Start by taking care of high RPN levels. Put corrective measures in place to lessen the risks connected to these failure scenarios.


Reassess and Monitor:

As processes change, periodically evaluate and update the FMEA. Ongoing improvement and risk reduction are ensured by constant observation.

Challenges in Failure Mode and Effect
Analysis (FMEA)

Access to Data

FMEA depends on precise and thorough data. Information that is erroneous or incomplete may undermine the analysis's efficacy.


Subjectivity plays a role in the severity, incidence, and detection rating assessments. To guarantee consistency, training and clear instructions are crucial.

Combining this Process with Another

The best results from FMEA come from its integration with an organization's broader quality management and risk assessment procedures.

Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) and Six Sigma

Organizations seeking operational excellence use approaches such as Six Sigma to improve overall efficiency, minimize defects, and streamline procedures. Within the Six Sigma framework, Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) is a crucial technique that offers a methodical way to identify and rank potential failure modes in a process. This essay explores the complexities of failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA), including its importance, methodology, and practical uses.

Applications of Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) in SixSigma


Applied during the design phase, DFMEA helps identify and mitigate potential failure modes in product design, ensuring a robust and reliable end product.

Process FMEA (PFMEA)

Implemented during the manufacturing or service delivery phase, PFMEA focuses on identifying failure modes within processes, allowing for preemptive corrective actions

System FMEA

Examine the overall system or a combination of processes to understand the potential failure modes and their effects on the entire system.

Software FMEA

Specifically tailored for the software development process, this variant of FMEA ensures the identification and resolution of potential software failures.

Examples of Failure Mode and
Effect Analysis (FMEA) in Six Sigma

1. Manufacturing Industry: Process FMEA (PFMEA)

2. Healthcare Industry: Design FMEA (DFMEA)

3. Service Industry: Process FMEA (PFMEA)

4. Software Development: Software FMEA

Manufacturing Industry:
Process FMEA (PFMEA)

  • Process: Injection Molding in Plastic Manufacturing

  • Process Step: Injection molding of plastic components.

  • Failure Mode: Incomplete filling of the mold cavities.


  • Incomplete or deformed plastic parts.

  • Increased reject rates.

  • Production delays.

  • Severity (S): 8 (Critical)

  • Occurrence (O): 5 (Moderate)

  • Detection (D): 7 (Moderate)

  • Risk Priority Number (RPN): 8 * 5 * 7 = 280

Corrective Actions

  • Implement real-time monitoring systems.

  • Improve mold maintenance procedures

  • Enhance operator training on identifying incomplete mold filling.


A key component of the Six Sigma technique, failure mode, and effect analysis offers an organized strategy for identifying and reducing risks

Organizations can prevent problems from getting worse by proactively addressing them before they become more serious. This can lead to increased customer happiness, better quality, and long-term operational excellence. FMEA is still a potent weapon in the Six Sigma toolbox, enabling businesses to traverse the intricacies of contemporary business with accuracy and vision, even as industries change