The Failure Mode and Effects Analysis, FMEA, is a subjective screening tool that uses numerical assignments to determine the risk associated with each input. The highest scored items add the highest risk to the problem.
Assign a level of risk for each input as in impacts the output by determining the severity, frequency of occurrence, and ability to detect the failure mode for each input. A risk priority number (RPN) is calculated and corrective action emphasis is given to those inputs with highest risk. Any input with a high severity (9-10) should be given attention regardless of RPN.
The figure below shows the linkage of the subjective screening tools in a DMAIC Six Sigma project.
Completing the FMEA:
The goal is to reduce the highest RPN’s, complete the easy actions
regardless of RPN, and mitigate the most severe inputs regardless of
Assigning ratings is subjective. Companies have different interpretations of each value and its meaning and many have developed tables and guides for each number 1-10 on what they represent. This is an attempt to standardize the development of FMEA's across the company and/or industry to add a higher degree of objectivity to the results.
It is more important that the scale applied is linear and well understood by each appraiser to minimize error from interpretation. The appraisers in this application are the team members, each one gets has input. Take time to review the meaning of each value for SEVERITY, OCCURRENCE, and DETECTION.
This tool is widely used in the quality control across all industries and segments and will improve customer satisfaction. There are used for design, processes, services, and more. It is recommended to become very familiar with this tool and how it works and its relevance.
Click here to purchase the FMEA template that comes with an example.
This module provides more detail about the development of a FMEA.
This step is valuable to educate the on highest risk inputs and is
additional support to drive improvements along with statistical review
of the families of variation. All Six Sigma project managers need to be
familiar with this tool as it applies to almost every project.
Click here to purchase the FMEA module and view others that are available.
Six Sigma Modules
Green Belt Program (1,000+ Slides)
Cause & Effect Matrix
Central Limit Theorem
1-Way Anova Test
Correlation and Regression