FMEA start point - should it be flexible?

Gabble

Registered
#1
I hope it’s ok to ask this question, but my colleagues struggle with comprehending the FMEA, our meetings always become (in my opinion) too complicated and opinionated, despite having had recent and decent training on the subject. So I’ve been trying to develop an easier approach, one that would allow me to get more people on board and not scare off the likes of Supervisors and Production Operators.

Here goes (there is a question in here somewhere):

Our long established process has all the potential product failure modes (or defects) clearly identified (documented) and allocated code numbers, which are used to log scrap, pareto improvement areas, issue visual standards, assist in training etc……against each of these numbers we have also identified potential causes of the failure mode. My proposal to the FMEA team is to use this as the start point of our generic FMEA, so beside each of these ‘failure modes’ we would then identify the process area (with purpose) then the effects of this failure on: the actual operation, downstream processes, customer receipt and product operation. I know this is doing things backwards, but I believe it would be a good start point to which would reach the same objective – to identify and prioritise areas for improvement.

So (my question) is it desperately wrong to start with your failure modes? :thanx:
 
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Jim Wynne

Leader
Admin
#2
Gabble said:
So (my question) is it desperately wrong to start with your failure modes?
You have to start somewhere.:D So long as the purpose is being accomplished, there's nothing intrinsically wrong with starting at known failure modes and working from there.

One potential problem with the approach is how you identify failure modes. In my opinion, failure modes should describe failures of the process and not the manifestation of process failures in the products. What you want to do is error-proof processes, so it only makes sense that you concentrate on ways the process might fail (with part defects being the effects). This method is more likely to produce prevention methods, I think. The fact that you seem to have a wealth of codified part failures seems to indicate that focusing on part defects hasn't been too successful. Use PFMEA to address potential weaknesses of the process, and the products will take care of themselves/
 

Gabble

Registered
#3
Thanks for the quick response, what you say makes sense very much in line with the training we have received. I suppose what our codified failures tell us is that we have had a poor DFMEA to begin with!! I think I will proceed with the FMEA based on the known failure codes, and also conduct a proper PFMEA study on our critical processes (to make it more manageable). The key here is to be able to specify the process purpose as accurately as possible then be able to list the effects if the process purpose is not achieved, over achieved, under achieved or intermittently achieved.

Something is better than nothing so I’ll keep on persevering! :bonk:

Thanks again
 
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