What is it: Design Failure Mode Effects Analysis (DFMEA) is the application of the Failure Mode and Effects Analysis method specifically to product design. It is a paper-and-pencil analysis method used in engineering to document and explore ways that a product design might fail in real-world use. A DFMEA documents the key functions of a design, the primary potential failure modes relative to each function and the potential causes of each failure mode. The DFMEA method allows the design team to document what they know and suspect about a product's failure modes prior to completing the design, and then use this information to design out or mitigate the causes of failure.
Why use it: The primary objective of a Design-FMEA is to uncover potential failures associated with the product that could cause:
Where to use it: Ideally, the DFMEA is begun at the earliest stages of concept development, and can then be used to help reduce down competing designs and to help generate new, more robust concepts.
When to use it: Design-FMEAs should be used throughout the design process, from preliminary design until the product goes into production.
How to use it: 10 Steps to Conduct a DFMEA: