Quality Management & Training


By: Geoff Vorley

Increasingly, contracts are requiring FMEA’s to be performed as a condition of placing the order. Also, the use of FMEA minimises the company’s likely exposure to very expensive product liability claims.

Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is a logical technique used to identify and eliminate possible causes of failure.

The technique requires a sequential, disciplined approach by engineers to assess systems, products or processes in order to establish the modes of failure and the effects of failure on the system, product or process.  This is to ensure that all possible failure modes have been fully identified and ranked in order of their importance.

The FMEA discipline requires the engineers to document their evaluation with regard to the failure mode, effect and criticality. The analysis work can be applied at any stage; design, manufacture, test, installation or use, but is best performed at the design stage. In a simple system the study may be performed on the total system or product but with more complex systems it may be necessary to break the product down into various sub-systems or sub-assemblies.

Subjects covered in this mini-guide include:

  1. Introduction
  2. The reason for FMEA
  3. Responsibility for FMEA
  4. Limitations of FMEA
  5. Guideline procedures for product FMEA
  6. FMEA for processes
  7. Guideline procdures for process FMEA
  8. Other risk assessment techniques


Geoff Vorley – an associate lecturer in Quality at Surrey University and one of the directors of Quality Management and Training Limited.

Quality Management and Training provides; consultancy, training, distance learning and many other QA products in Quality and Health and Safety Management to large numbers of organisations and individuals.

ISBN: 978-1-904302-11-7


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