Brief introduction to FMEA methodology

The maintenance function has experienced over the years several stages of importance and consideration within organizations. One can notice, however, a trend that has shown a positive evolution. Factors such as scientific and technological development, the existing competitiveness in the global economic panorama or even the ramped up environmental, safety and health legislation, compel organizations to look increasingly at maintenance as a function with a significant strategic importance.

The main reference document for conducting an FMEA analysis in any organization is IEC 60812:2018, which considers FMEA as a technique for analysing the reliability of a system, providing a systematic method for identifying failures and possible consequences in the items. It turns out that FMEA method is a proactive analysis process, and the identification of failures in an item is carried out before they occur, being, in this way, opposite to Root Cause Analysis (RCA), which considers to be a reactive analysis process, insofar as the identification of root causes of failures is carried out after they occur.

In fact, it can be considered that there are several types of FMEA, depending on the entity to which this analysis will be applied. The Design FMEA (DFMEA), which is widely used in the development of new products, and the Process FMEA (PFMEA), used in industrial processes, are perhaps the best known and most implemented.


Hugo Cardoso
e-mail: [email protected]
Navaltik Management, Lda.

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