There are three types of FMEAs: a design (DFMEA), a process (PFMEA) and a service FMEA. Let’s zoom in on what each FMEA entails.
This methodology explores the possibility of product or design malfunctions. It is used in product development to improve quality and reduce potential risks of failure. This rings especially true for new, updated, or modified product designs which can unintentionally introduce design failures. Using a DFMEA, you can identify failure modes early in the design process and make changes to the design. Even before going into production, leading to significant cost savings compared to countermeasures in later phases. After all, prevention is better than cure.
A DFMEA is based on theoretical assumptions. So, there’s always a possibility that those assumptions do not fully represent reality. Moreover, sometimes a DFMEA is not created during the design or is not available to the asset owner. This is where a service FMEA is of value. It helps to address failures that occur during the life cycle despite the efforts made in the design phase. Failures that happen during service can be the consequence of design flaws but equally because of improper installation, -operation, -maintenance, and -repair. Although service FMEAs are typically associated with assets or systems, the same principles can be applied to a process.
The purpose of a service FMEA is to ensure service tools will perform as required, reach improvement goals, customers experience fewer failures throughout the product’s life cycle, and the asset owner reduces costs by deferring planned maintenance. It’s the first step towards an effective maintenance strategy, as occurrence and severity are based on experience.
The structured methodology known as Process FMEA (PFMEA) is used to identify probable process failures, including failure that impacts product quality, reduced reliability of the process, customer dissatisfaction, and safety or environmental hazards. PFMEA is more concerned with identifying failures brought on by process modifications than new or updated product designs. For example, this is particularly helpful when a new process or technology is launched. But also when an existing process is introduced into a new operating environment