Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) Resource Center

Tips to Make FMEAs More Effective

Customize the rating scales.

While industry guidelines suggest customizing generic ranking scales, they do not require it. However, by taking the time to add organization-specific examples of applications of the ranking definitions, FMEA teams will have an easier time applying the scales. The use of meaningful, relevant examples saves teams time and improves consistency of rankings from team to team.

Use the same (custom) ranking scales throughout the organization.

Once a custom set of ranking Scales are developed, use them for every FMEA study conducted in the organization. By using the same scales, the RPN for every failure mode and effect can be compared on a relative level and the highest potential risks for the organization can identified.

Add a Control Plan right to the FMEA Worksheet.

Control Plans ensure a system is in place to control the risks of the same failure modes identified in the FMEA. While Control Plans can be developed independently of FMEAs, it is time- and cost-effective to link Control Plans directly to FMEAs. The Control Plan describes how each potential failure mode will be controlled and how it should be reacted to if it (the failure mode) does occur. To add a control plan component to an FMEA, add “columns” to the FMEA Worksheet for the control factors, the specifications and tolerances, the measurement system, sample size, sample frequency, the control method, and the reaction plan.

Use a team approach.

A team will be able to generate a more comprehensive list of potential failures than any one individual could do. A team approach will lead to a richer and more accurate analysis of the risks associated with a process or design.