Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) Resource Center


FMEAs help us focus on and understand the impact of potential process or product risks.

  • A systematic methodology is used to rate the risks relative to each other.
  • An RPN, or Risk Priority Number, is calculated for each failure mode and its resulting effect(s).

The RPN is a function of three factors:

  • The Severity of the effect
  • The frequency of Occurrence of the cause of the failure
  • The ability to Detect the failure or effect

Calculating the RPN

  • The RPN = The Severity ranking X the Occurrence ranking X the Detection ranking.
  • The RPN can range from a low of 1 to a high of 1,000.

Taking action

  • Develop an Action Plan to reduce risks with unacceptably high RPNs.

Linking FMEAs to Control Plans

  • Use FMEAs as the basis for Control Plans.
  • Control Plans are a summary of proactive defect prevention and reactive detection techniques.