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Advanced Product Quality Planning : FMEA

Quality of any product or service offered is the most integral part of any business. This is  why many steps and ways are implemented to ensure that you do not fail in producing the best quality product. Advanced product quality planning is one important method that helps in defining and determining the steps that will ensure perfect quality. One such method used for this is the FMEA or Failure Mode Effects Analysis. Understanding what this means and how it improves quality planning is essential for ensuring quality of product or service.


FMEA or Failure Mode Effects Analysis is defined as a step-by-step approach that is designed to identify all possible failures that could occur in the manufacturing process/assembly/design, or in the product/service. Before going onto understanding how this can be determined, it is important to understand the two halves of this approach. Failure mode essentially means the identification of the different ways in which any process or procedure can fail. These could be the potential or actual errors/ defects in the product or service, which will affect the customers. Effects analysis is the study of how these failures will affect, or in other words, the consequences of these failures. Once this is done, it becomes possible to create ways by which you can reduce these failures or eliminate them totally.

When to use

Before going onto actually using this mode of quality planning, it is important to understand when the FMEA will be most effective.

Here are some scenarios when you can use this approach,

During designing or redesigning of any process, service or product but after the deployment of quality function.
During application of any existing process or service or product in a new way.
Before the development of any control plans for a new process or a modified one. 
Planning of improvement goals.
During the analysis of the failure of existing processes, products or services.
During the lifecycle of any process or product or service.

Procedure: The procedure for FMEA involves the following steps:

Assembling a team of people from diverse groups, who have the requisite knowledge regarding the process, service or product as well as a clear idea about the needs of the customers.
Identifying the scope, whether it is for the concept, or design, or system, or service, or process. This is crucial and it is important to determine how detailed your analysis should be while also stating the boundaries of your analysis.
Identifying the functions of your scope, which includes identifying the purpose of the process, product or service etc.
Identifying all the failures that could occur, function-wise; in other words, identify the failures for each function.
Identifying all the consequences for each failure that could occur.
Determining the seriousness of these consequences.
Determining the root cause of these failures along with their rate of occurrence; it’s also important to verify the process controls, rate of detection ,and other characteristics that are involved with these failures.
Finally, it is important to provide recommendations that will help reduce or eliminate these failures.

With the help of FMEA, it is possible to identify and reduce the occurrence of failures. However, this is possible only if you use the document that is created after the entire procedure.

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