Design Failure Mode and Effects Analysis must be done in a step-wise fashion since each step builds on the previous one.  Here are the 10 steps to a Design FMEA.

STEP 1:  Review the design

  • Use a blueprint or schematic of the design/product to identify each component and interface.
  • List each component in the FMEA table.
  • If it feels like the scope is too large, it probably is.  This is a good time to break the Design Failure Mode and Effects Analysis into more manageable chunks.

STEP 2:  Brainstorm potential failure modes

  • Review existing documentation and data for clues about all of the ways each component or interface can fail.
  • Get an exhaustive list – it can be pared down and items can be combined after this initial list is generated.
  • There will likely be several potential failures for each component.

STEP 3:  List potential effects of each failure

  • The effect is the impact the failure has on the end customer or on subsequent components.
  • There will likely be more than one effect for each failure.

STEP 4:  Assign Severity rankings

  • Rate the severity of each effect using customized ranking scales as a guide.

STEP 5:  Assign Occurrence rankings

  • Determine how frequently the failure is likely to occur.

STEP 6:  Assign Detection rankings

  • What are the chances the failure will be detected prior to the customer finding it.

STEP 7:  Calculate the RPN

  • Severity X Occurrence X Detection

STEP 8:  Develop the action plan

  • Decide which failures will be worked on based on the Risk Priority Numbers.  Focus on the highest RPNs.
  • Define who will do what by when.

STEP 9:  Take action

  • Implement the improvements identified by your Design Failure Mode and Effects Analysis team.

STEP 10:  Calculate the resulting RPN

  • Re-evaluate each of the potential failures once improvements have been made and determine the impact of the improvements.

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