October 11, 2007 | Ken Reed

Equifactor® and FMEA

A Failure Mode Effect Analysis (FMEA) is used to determine the relative risks of a failure causing a specific effect and then determine the priority of mitigating that particular failure mode.  It is used as a risk management tool to help determine where resources should most efficiently be spent.  Although usually used as a proactive tool, it can be applied after an accident during a root cause analysis to help determine what failure modes could have caused the effect seen.

One of the very first steps in conducting an FMEA is to know what failure modes are available.  You must know how the piece of equipment or the process can fail.  Where do you get this information?  There are several sources that are available:

  • System Experts at your facility
  • Equipment technical manuals
  • ISO standards (ISO-9000, QS-9000, ISO-16949, Mil-Std-1629A, etc)
  • Equipment troubleshooting tables

Another great source of information is the Equifactor® troubleshooting section of the TapRooT® Software.  For example, take a look through the Conveyor Belt tables, and start with the Possible Causes of failures.  This can lead you to failure modes that you may not have initially considered, including the causes of those modes.  By combining Equifactor® with other sources of information, you can ensure you have a complete list of possible problems to use during the FMEA process.

Root Cause Analysis
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