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How to Address Cost of Poor Quality and Customer Complaints in Manufacturing, Logistics, Supply Chains, Retail, Hospitality, Hospitals.

By 3rd March 2020 No Comments
Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA)

Customer complaints create a dent on an organization’s profitability and reputation. Many organizations react to the situation only after a complaint is received. By this time, it is too late. Another option which is proven to address these issues is through effective implementation of Failure mode effects analysis tool or methodology.

Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA)

  • FMEA can be termed or also called as potential failure modes and effects analysis and failure modes, effects and criticality analysis.
  • Origin of FMEA can be traced to the United States of America and was initiated around the 1940s. FMEA is a systematic and step-by-step approach for evaluation and identifying all possible failures in a design, a manufacturing or assembly process, or a product or service.

"Failure modes" means the ways, or modes, in which a failure can be expected. - Failures are any errors or defects, Potential or actual, and particularly that affect the customer.

"Effects analysis" refers to studying the consequences of those failures which are listed in failure modes.

Failures are prioritized according to the following:

  • Risks i.e how serious their consequences are, 
  • How frequently they occur, 
  • How easily they can be detected

The purpose of Failure Modes and Effects analysis is to take concrete actions to eliminate or reduce failures, starting with the prioritization -Top priority ones first.

Some of the applications of FMEA are as follows:

  • Through Failure modes and effects analysis methodology, documentation is done by listing current knowledge and actions about the risks of failures which is used as reference for continuous improvement. 
  • FMEA is used extensively during the design stage to prevent potential failures. 
  • Once FMEA is used effectively during the design stage, it is also applied to used for control, before and during ongoing operation of the process. 
  • FMEA is also applied during conceptual or early  stages of designing of product or services and continues throughout its life cycle.

Types of FMEAs

There are primarily three types of FMEAs

Concept or System FMEA

Design FMEA

Process FMEA

Concept or System FMEA is used to analyse systems and subsystems in the initial or early concept and design stages i.e even much before the product launch. It mainly focuses on potential failure modes associated with eh functions of a system caused by design deficiencies

Key outputs from Concept FMEA are:

  • potential system failure modes
  • System functions to be monitored to detect potential failure modes
  • system design actions to eliminate the causes of system failure modes and to reduce their rate of occurrence.

Design FMEA is used to analyse design aspects reflecting on products before they are released to production.  It mainly focuses on potential failure modes of production caused by design.

Key outputs of Design FMEA are:

  • potential product failure modes
  • potential critical characteristics and potential significant characteristics
  • design actions to eliminate the causes of product failure modes or reduce their rate of occurrence.

Process FMEA is used to analyse manufacturing and assembly processes deficiencies.

Key outputs of process FMEA are:

  • Potential process failure modes
  • Critical characteristics and significant characteristics,
  • Recommended actions with critical characteristics.
  • Process actions to eliminate the causes of failure of products or to  reduce their rate of occurrence. Also, to improve product defect detection should there be instance  if process capability cannot be improved.

Our group company, Seven Steps Academy of Excellence conducts training programmes on FMEA for automotive, hospitals, Pharmaceuticals, Aerospace and other process industries.

Related Article– Lean in Hospitals & Healthcare Services

Unique methodology of Seven Steps Academy is to integrate best tools as combination such as

  • Lean Manufacturing, 
  • Total productive maintenance, 
  • Quality Function Deployment, 
  • Six Sigma.

For all these, 5S as foundation is implemented.  All the training programmes are refined based on practical exposure in industry by our Lean Consultants, TPM Consultants and Quality Consultants who have working experience in

  • Aerospace, 
  • pharmaceutical,
  • FMCG, 
  • automotive, 
  • retail,
  • supply chain, 
  • banking, 
  • hospitality and food industry.

Related Article– Implementation of Applied 5S in Service Organisations

Where hands on implementation support is needed, it is supported by Seven Steps Business transformation system which is a consulting company specialized in implementation of Lean manufacturing, Total productive Maintenance, Theory of Constraints, Six Sigma.

Our customers have got significant benefits in saving of Cost of poor quality apart from gaining increased market shared, reduced logistics/air shipment costs.

Some of the flagship training programmes conducted at Seven Steps Academy of Excellence are:

Six sigma Green Belt

Six Sigma Black Belt

Six Sigma Yellow Belt

Skill development programme – Campus to CorporatePrecision Engineering

Applied 5S


Lean Experimental Learning Programme

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