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- Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA)
- Criticality Analysis (CA).
FMECA is just FMEA with Criticality Analysis. There are many different flavors
of FMEA. There are Conceptual or Functional FMEAs, Design FMEAs, and
Process FMEAs. Sometimes during a design FMEA the analysis will look at a
combination of functions and hardware. Sometimes it will include just
hardware, and sometimes the analyst will take a detailed look at the system
down to a piece-part level, especially when critical functions or hardware are
Click on these links to familiarize yourself with various FMEA acronyms and
FMEA definitions. Click here for FMEA Tips and Advice.
Why is FMEA / FMECA Important?
There are a number of reasons why this analysis technique is so valuable.
Here are just a few:
- FMEA provides a basis for identifying root failure causes and
developing effective corrective actions
- The FMEA identifies reliability/safety critical components
- It facilitates investigation of design alternatives at all stages of the
- Provides a foundation for other maintainability, safety, testability, and
FMEA / FMECA Background and History
- An offshoot of Military Procedure MIL-P-1629, titled Procedures for
Performing a Failure Mode, Effects and Criticality Analysis, dated
November 9, 1949.
- Used as a reliability evaluation technique to determine the effect of
system and equipment failures. Failures were classified according to
their impact on mission success and personnel/equipment safety.
- Formally developed and applied by NASA in the 1960’s to improve and
verify reliability of space program hardware.
- The procedures called out in MIL-STD-1629A are the most widely
accepted methods throughout the military and commercial industry.
- SAE J1739 is a prevalent FMEA standard in the automotive industry.
Hopefully, you now have a better idea of what a FMEA is and why this analysis
technique is so useful. Take a few minutes and explore some of the other
pages and resources on this site and soon, you will have a good basic
understanding of FMEA, and how your company or organization might benefit
So you may be wondering just what is a
FMEA? Failure Mode and Effects Analysis
(FMEA) or FMECA is an analysis
technique which facilitates the
identification of potential problems in the
design or process by examining the
effects of lower level failures.
Recommended actions or compensating
provisions are made to reduce the
likelihood of the problem occurring, and
mitigate the risk, if in fact, it does occur.
The FMEA team determines, by failure
mode analysis, the effect of each failure
and identifies single failure points that are
critical. It may also rank each failure
according to the criticality of a failure
effect and its probability of occurring. The
FMECA is the result of two steps: