What is it: Process Failure Modes Effects Analysis (PFMEA) is a quality planning method that involves thinking about what might go wrong, what are the chances of it going wrong and what might be the consequences of it going wrong, leading to a plan for prevention and/or containment. PFMEA is a step-by-step systematic approach for identifying all possible failures in a design, a manufacturing or assembly process, or a product or service. PFMEAs help us focus on and understnd the impact of potential process or product risks. A systematic methodology is used to rate the risks relative to each other by ranking & prioritizing the possible causes of failures and eliminating or reducing failures, starting with the highest-priority ones.
Why use it: PFMEAs help us focus on the understanding the impact of the potential process or product risks.
Where to use it: It is widely used in the manufacturing industries in various phases of the product life cycle and is now increasingly finding use in the service industry as well.
When to use it: PFMEA's is used during design to prevent failures. Later it’s used for control, before and during ongoing operation of the process.
Important Information: Teams, not individuals, conduct PFMEAs. The skills and experience of a balanced team are needed to successfully complete an PFMEA. PFMEAs are a complex undertaking and should always be conducted by a team. PFMEAs need to be updated whenever changes are made to the process or product. PFMEAs should also be updated when: Product or process improvements are made. New failure modes are identified. New data regarding effects are obtained. Root causes are determined.