FMEA method is quite known today. There are a lot of guides, articles, and standards written about FMEA method. However, not so much written about FMEA links-relationship between FMEAs and other processes. Are these links important? To have a really strong FMEA approach we should take into consideration links-outputs/inputs between FMEA´s. In most cases we develop/produce products within supply chain where our product is part of upper system or customer application and consist from components co-developed/produced by our suppliers. We are located betwen customer domain and supplier domain. Each domain has own FMEA (Application FMEA and Supplier FMEAs). The key point is to create interfaces betwen domain FMEAs. When we don´t care these interfaces than we develop “our product“ not “customer product” and we can fail in customer application. There are a lot of real examples where product fail because there was missing customer voice. We should keep in mind such approach and transfer Voice of Customer to Suppliers. Important is to setup FMEA communication platform between all supply chain entities with same risk evaluation criteria (Severity, Occurence, Detection). The objective such approach is identification of all risks and their failure cause – failure effect chain from supplier through us to customer. This approach can give us complete view what happen if parameter of supplier component fail in our domain and what will be failure effect on customer application.
Other aspect of more robust FMEA approach are links between FMEAs and other company procesess within our domain. Benefit of such approach is view on FMEAs from various functional perspectives. Following items describe how such proces can empower FMEAs and FMEAs can empower other procesess.
Requirement Management – to understand what custormer really need,how application works, what can be failure effects and their severity on customer application. It´s basic input for FMEA.
Quality Planning – FMEA is part of quality planning process and other quality tools and methods are dependent on it like control plan, measurement system analysis, process capability analysis, verification and validation planning, etc.
Risk Management – FMEA is source of product and proces risks which has to be evaluated from other risk perspective like financial effect, project timing, product porfolio, technology roadmap.
Supplier Management – FMEA is good communication platform to speak about component failures and their efects on customer system. Customer is learning from suppliers and suppliers are learning from customers.
Continual Improvement – FMEA is good source of product or process potential improvement projects definition based on highest risks.
Reliability Engineering – FMEA is integral part of product reliability analysis. Help to engineers to understand failure mechanism. Is good source of reliability test planning and after test failure analysis. Change Management – When any change in process or product is planned than we should analyze with support of FMEAs.
Problem Solving – FMEA can be good reference for team to learn from past failures. New failure events should be added to FMEA.
It´s quite complex task to manage all these links. When we will think about these links than our FMEA can bring us more interesting results than before. It will not be separate method but will become integral part of our company procesess. There is very interesting tool to help company to manage all these links. See to www.cognition.us