Prairie Engineering advocates the use of a Design FMEA (Failure Mode and Effects Analysis) workshop for every Contract Design project that we bid on.
- It is the most basic tool that every quality consultant carries in his toolbox.
- It is used to ensure that potential problems have been considered and addressed with sufficient time to take counter measures against risk and still capture the changes to the product before the first production unit is assembled.
- The RPN (Risk Priority Number) is the product of Severity, Occurrence and Detection (RPN=S*O*D).
- The FMEA template is shown below:
- The RPN's are used to compare the risk of each potential failure mode with the others identified.
- After the decision is made to do an FMEA, the next priority is forming the team. Team members should be drawn from design engineering, manufacturing, safety engineering, and major vendors. An independent facilitator and an employee who understands the customer’s practices is needed as well.
- Try to avoid having the program manager or company officers in the workshop as this tends to intimidate other team members (this may not be practical with very small companies).
- When the report is complete, have the team reconvene and present to the program manager and his superior. The facilitator should work with these two people and determine the potential failure modes that are to be solved.
- Often the problems are evenly split between design engineering and manufacturing leads in developing solutions.
- An FMEA is not complete until all actions on approved potential failure modes have been completed.