FMEA is used to measure risk in a system, to prioritize which ones need to be tackled most urgently.
How do you perform FMEA?
Failure mode and Effect Analysis is a simple but powerful tool, which is useful whenever you need to minimize risk. The step by step guide is:
- Identify all the core risks in the system you’re looking at (the Cause and Effect or Fishbone chart is good for this, or you could use brainstorming)
- Put all your risks into a table including the following columns:
- Part or Process being analyzed
- Risk of failure
- Consequences of the risk occurring
- Causes of the failure
- Methods of detection for the failure
- N.B. there will be several risks of failure per part number / process, and likely several causes per failure
- Rate the following on a score of 1 to 10 (10 being worst):
- Severity of the consequences
- Likelihood of Occurrence for the failure
- Detectability of the failure
- Calculate the Risk Priority Number (RPN) by multiplying your 3 numbers together – this is your measure for how risky that risk is
- Sort your table by Risk Priority Number – you now have a prioritized list for tackling your risks
- Assign actions to improve the system
- Re-rate the system
Points 5-7 can be repeated so that the highest risks are continually addressed.
Now that you’ve got your prioritized list, you can use a Pareto Chart to make sure you have effectively covered all the core risks.