Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA)
FMEA is an analysis technique designed to detect and evaluate possible sources of defects in products and process flows and, if necessary, to develop adequate preventive measures to avoid them before the defect occurs. The goal is to drastically reduce costs based on errors and controls. Advantages of the analysis are the exchange of interdepartmental expertise and thus, the sensitivity and further development of personnel with regard to product and process quality. In addition, the analysis contributes to a comprehensive and complete documentation of product and process deficiencies and possible measures for their elimination. The purpose of the analysis is to detect potential defects at an early stage and thus avoid the probability of their occurrence at a later stage. This procedure is used in the development of new products and processes or in their optimization. Risk assessments are a major part of the analysis and help to increase product quality. Generally, three different FMEA analyses are distinguished:
- System FMEA: This analyzes how subsystems work together in a system network. Interfaces of individual components are focused and examined for possible weak points by means of system concepts.
- Design FMEA: By monitoring potential systematic sources of defects in the manufacturing phase, manufacturing and assembly qualification of products can be assessed at an early stage.
- Process FMEA: Based on the design FMEA, further possible sources of error in the manufacturing and assembly process are identified with regard to process quality and reliability.