Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA)

Definition - What does Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) mean?

Failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) is a structured method of determining equipment functions and functional failures as well as assessing the causes of failures and their failure effects. It is a step-by-step method for identifying all possible failures in a design, a manufacturing or assembly process, or a product or service.

FMEA is a universal tool that can be used in any industry or service where risk of failure or corrosion has detrimental effects on the users of a product, process or service.

FMEA is a core task in reliability engineering, safety engineering and quality engineering.

Corrosionpedia explains Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA)

Failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) is a systematic, proactive method for evaluating a process to identify where and how it might fail and to assess the relative impact of different failures, in order to identify the parts of the process that are most in need of change.

FMEA is implemented by considering each item of equipment and associated systems, detailing the possible failure modes and determining their resulting effect on the rest of the system. The analysis is more concerned with specifying the likely effects and criticality of different modes of failure rather than the mechanisms or events leading to the failure.

FMEA is used during design to prevent failures. Later it is used for control, before and during ongoing operation of the process. Ideally, FMEA begins during the earliest conceptual stages of design and continues throughout the life of the product or service. Therefore it is helpful to monitor corrosion and analyze corrosion failure to reduce the impact of corrosion.

The analysis uses a form that begins with a systematic list of all components in the system, and typically includes:

  • Component name
  • Function of component
  • Possible failure modes
  • Causes of failure
  • How failures are detected
  • Effects of failure on primary system function
  • Effects of failure on other components
  • Necessary preventative/repair action
  • Rating of failure frequency
  • Rating of severity of failure

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