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Failure Mode, Effects and Criticality Analysis (FMECA)

Definition - What does Failure Mode, Effects and Criticality Analysis (FMECA) mean?

Failure mode, effects and criticality analysis (FMECA) is a structured method of assessing the causes of failures and their effect on production, safety, cost, quality, etc.

FMECA are methodologies designed to:

  • Identify potential failure modes for a product or process
  • Assess the risk associated with those failure modes
  • Rank the issues in terms of importance
  • Identify and carry out corrective actions to address the most serious concerns

FMECA is the most widely used reliability analysis technique in the initial stages of development, and is very useful in monitoring corrosion and corrosion failure analysis.

Corrosionpedia explains Failure Mode, Effects and Criticality Analysis (FMECA)

FMECA extends failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) by including criticality analysis, which is used to chart the probability of failure modes against the severity of their consequences. The result highlights failure modes with relatively high probability and severity of consequences, allowing remedial effort to be directed where it produces the greatest value. It is a risk assessment methodology to monitor corrosion and critically analyze failure.

FMECA is usually performed during the conceptual and initial design phases of the system in order to assure that all potential failure modes have been considered and the proper provisions have been made to eliminate these failures. The FMECA provides a knowledge base of failure modes and corrective action information that can be used as a resource in future troubleshooting efforts and as a training tool for new engineers.

Strengths of FMECA include its comprehensiveness, the systematic establishment of relationships between failure causes and effects, and its ability to point out individual failure modes for corrective action in design. Weaknesses include the extensive labor required, the large number of trivial cases considered, and inability to deal with multiple-failure scenarios or unplanned cross-system effects such as sneak circuits.

In FMECA, early recognition of corrosion as a factor in a failure is critical because much important corrosion information can be lost if a failure scene is altered or changed before appropriate observations and tests can be made.

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