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FAILURE MODE and EFFECT ANALYSIS

What it is:
Failure mode and effect analysis is a tool that examines potential product or process failures, evaluates risk priorities, and helps determine
remedial actions to avoid identified problems. The spreadsheet format allows easy review of the analysis.
When to use it:
Failure mode and effect analysis is primarily a quality planning tool. It is useful in developing features and goals for both products and
processes, in identifying critical product/process factors and designing countermeasures to potential problems, in establishing controls to
prevent process errors, and in prioritizing process subunits to ensure reliability.
How to use it:
Create a nine-column spreadsheet. Label the columns as indicated in the example below: Mode of Failure, Cause of Failure, Effect
of Failure, Frequency of Occurrence, Degree of Severity, Chance of Detection, Risk Priority, Design Action, and Design Validation.
Use brainstorming to identify all possible modes of failure. List each mode on a separate line in column 1.
Identify all possible causes of failure for each mode. Use brainstorming to create a list of these causes and add them in
column 2.
Determine the likely effect of each failure. In column 3, identify the potential impact of failures on the customer, the product, or
the process.
Create a table of assigned values. For columns 4, 5, and 6, develop a consensus table of relative values for assumed frequency of
occurrence, the severity of the failure for the customer, and the likelihood of detecting the problem.
Record appropriate values in columns 4, 5, and 6. Using the table of assigned values, develop a consensus score for
frequency of occurrence, the severity of the failure, and the chance of detection for each cause of failure.
Calculate the risk factor for each cause of failure. For each cause of failure, multiply the numbers in columns 4, 5, and 6.
Record the product in column 7.
Identify a remedy for critical failure modes. Concentrate on the small number of failure causes that can dramatically impact the
product/process, and design actions that will significantly reduce the level of failure.
Validate each action/remedy. Design a method of verifying that the remedy is in place and is used.
Failure Mode and Effect Analysis Example
Product: Stand-Alone Computer Station
Component: Hardware Installation
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Mode of
Failure
Cause of
Failure
Effect of
Failure
Frequency
of
Occurrence
(1-10)
Degree of
Severity
(1-10)
Chance of
Detection
(1-10)
Risk Priority
(1-1000)
[4] x [5] x [6]
Design Action
Design
Validation
Hardware
not installed
on time
Shipping
delay from
manufacturer
Customer
loses time/$
2 6 8 96
Agent reviews
timeline with
supplier
Agent initials
order form
Inaccurate
estimate of
time required
Customer
loses time/$
3 4 1 12
Unavailable/
overscheduled
installers
Customer
loses time/$
6 4 3 72
Missing
components
Customer
loses time/$
5 7 5 175
Installers verify
components
needed for job
Installer initials
preliminary
checklist for job
Hardware
not installed
properly
Inexperienced
installers
Hardware
must be
reinstalled
1 8 10 80
Customer
requirements
not clear
Hardware
must be
reinstalled
7 8 7 392
Installer meets/
calls customer
to verify design
Customer &
installer initial
checksheet
Assigned Values for Columns 4-6
column/value 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
4. Frequency
(errors/100 customers)
<2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 >20
5. Severity for
Customer
Trivial Complaint
Major
time/$
Loss of
customer
6. Probability of
Detection
Certain Possible None