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Introduction to FMECA. What is a FMECA? An Analysis technique which facilitates the identification of potential design problems by examining the effects of lower level failures on system operation. “Obviously, a major malfunction.” - Stephen A Nesbitt

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introduction to fmeca
Introduction to FMECA
  • What is a FMECA?
    • An Analysis technique which facilitates the identification of potential design problems by examining the effects of lower level failures on system operation.

“Obviously, a major

malfunction.”

- Stephen A Nesbitt

NASA Public Affairs Officer

why is it important
Why is it Important?
  • Provides a basis for identifying root failure causes and developing effective corrective actions
  • Identifies reliability/safety critical components
  • Facilitates investigation of design alternatives at all stages of the design
  • Provides a foundation for other maintainability, safety, testability, and logistics analyses
definitions
Definitions
  • FMECA - Failure Mode, Effects, and Criticality Analysis.
  • FMEA - Failure Mode and Effects Analysis.
  • COMPENSATING PROVISIONS - Actions available or that can be taken to lessen or eliminate the effect of a failure on a system.
  • NEXT HIGHER EFFECT - The consequence a failure mode has upon the operation, function, or status at the next higher level of assembly.
  • END EFFECT - The consequence a failure mode has upon the operation, function, or status at the highest level of indenture.
how is it done
How is it Done?

What are the effects

of box failures on

the system?

What are the effects

of board failures on

the box?

What are the effects

of part failures on

the board?

Note: This is a bottoms up example.

Top down examples are possible.

simple example flashlight
Simple Example: Flashlight

This flashlight is for use by special operations forces involved in

close combat missions (especially hostage rescue) during low

visibility conditions in urban areas. The light is to mounted coaxially

with the individual's personal weapon to momentarily illuminate

and positively identify targets before they are engaged.The exterior

casing including the transparent light aperture are from an existing

ruggidized design and can be considered immune to failure.

simple example flashlight cont

How can it fail?

Part

What is the effect? Note

that Next Higher Effect =

End Effect in this case.

Simple Example: Flashlight (cont.)
severity
Severity
  • SEVERITY classifies the degree of injury, property damage, system damage, and mission loss that could occur as the worst possible consequence of a failure. For a FMECA these are typically graded from I to IV in decreasing severity.
  • The standard severities defined in MIL-STD1682 may be used or equipment specific severities may be defined with customer concurrence (recommended).
simple example flashlight cont1
Simple Example: Flashlight (cont.)
  • Severity
    • Severity I Light stuck in the “on” condition
    • Severity II Light will not turn on
    • Severity III Degraded operation
    • Severity IV No effect
criticality
Criticality
  • CRITICALITY is a measure of the frequency of occurrence of an effect.
    • May be based on qualitative judgement or
    • May be based on failure rate data
simple example flashlight cont4
Simple Example: Flashlight (cont.)

Can circled items be designed out or mitigated?

(There may be others that need to addressed also.)

integrated fmeca
Integrated FMECA
  • FMECAs are often used by other functions such as Maintainability, Safety, Testability, and Logistics.
    • Coordinate your effort with other functions up front
    • Integrate as many other tasks into the FMECA as possible and as make sense (Testability, Safety, Maintainability, etc.)
      • Integrating in this way can save considerable cost over doing the efforts separately and will usually produce a better product.
      • If possible, use the same analyst to accomplish these tasks for the same piece of hardware. This can be a huge cost saver.
fmeca facts and tips
FMECA Facts and Tips
  • FMECAs should begin as early as possible
    • This allows the analyst to affect the design before it is set in stone.
    • If you start early (as you should) expect to have to redo portions as the design is modified.
  • FMECAs take a lot of time to complete.
  • FMECAs require considerable knowledge of system operation necessitating extensive discussions with software/hardware Design Engineering and System Engineering.
  • Spend time developing groundrules with your customer up front.