While the basic steps for conducting an FMEA are the same regardless of the focus of the FMEA, some of the tactics are different if it is a DFMEA or PFMEA.  This table highlights the key differences between the two.

Criteria DFMEAs PFMEAs
Primary Objectives To uncover potential failures associated with the product that could cause:

  • Product malfunctions.
  • Shortened product life.
  • Safety hazards while using the product.
To uncover potential process failures that can:

  • Impact product quality.
  • Reduce process reliability.
  • Cause customer dissatisfaction.
  • Create safety or environmental hazards.
The basis of the review A blueprint, detailed product schematic or prototype. A process flowchart or detailed traveler.
How potential failures of intended functions are evaluated Identifying and assessing potential risks of the design requirements. Identifying and assessing potential risks with process operating parameters and meeting product specifications.
The evaluation criteria for Detection ratings usually focuses on: An evaluation of the ability of design controls (related to the product or process) to prevent or detect mechanisms of failure. An evaluation of the ability of process controls (mistake-proofing, fail-safes, gages) to prevent a failure mode (or cause) from occurring or detect the effect of a failure if a failure has occurred.

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