Failure Mode and Effect Analysis
(FMEA) method 11 12 13 due to their understandable reliability and safety
conditions was first developed as formal design methodologies in the 1960s by
aerospace industry 14 15 3. It is described as a powerful tool developed
in the 1950s and 1960s in evaluating potential failures and preventing them
from occurring. FMEA is a formal step-by-step process for the systematic
evaluation of the severity of potential failure modes, which is also among the
most popular safety and reliability analysis tools for products and processes
presently due to its visibility and easiness 17.

Failure Mode and Effect Analysis
(FMEA) is a useful problem avoidance methodology that can simply interface with
many engineering and reliability methods 6 13 17. Failure Mode and Effect
Analysis (FMEA) is a quantitative mathematical model which quantifies a
situation/ object and produces a measuring index, either in numerical score of
a continuous scale or a category to a situation/ object, taking into
consideration its attribute(s) 18. FMEA is a qualitative method of
reliability analysis which includes the study of the fault modes which can
present itself in every sub-item of the item and the determination of the
effects of each fault mode on the other sub-items of the item and on the
required function of the item, with respect to the International
Electrotechnical Vocabulary (IEV), which describes analysis which is
qualitative. A failure mode is recognized and its effects are determined. The
magnitude is however expressed descriptively 19.

Furthermore, IEV Failure Modes
Effects and Criticality Analysis (FMECA), is a qualitative method of
reliability analysis which contains a fault modes and effects analysis together
with a consideration of the probability of their occurrence and of the ranking
of the seriousness of the faults the quantitative determination of probability
of occurrence of failure modes and ranking of its seriousness is referenced 19.
Another definition of FMEA is that it is an effective problem avoidance
methodology that can easily interface with various engineering and reliability
methods. By the broad influence in the representation of potential
product/process failures and of planned responses to these failures, FMEA
establishes an effective risk management environment. FMEA is able to identify
actions that can eliminate the probabilities of potential failures from
rehappening. Furthermore, FMEA is a bottom-up approach that begins with
identified potential failure modes at one level, and examines their outcome on
the next and higher levels of system hierarchy 15.

FMEA is used by system and
reliability engineers to recognize critical components/ parts/ functions whose
failure might produce objectionable results such as production loss, injury or
even an accident. It has already been extensively applied in a wide range of
industries — particularly aerospace, nuclear, automotive and medical. Other
than that, FMEA was applied to an auxiliary feed water system and a chemical
volume control system in a nuclear power plant. The FMEA methodology was also
applied in a semiconductor manufacturing line and on a fishing vessel.

With regards to FMEA, advancements
have been made to the methodology. For example, the application of Bayesian
belief (BBN) network for FMEA with modelling and analysis 20, an integrated
framework was also built to study system failure behaviour and decision making 21
and the reduction of irregularities in the use of “process FMEA” 22.
Besides, the data envelopment analysis (DEA) was applied to enhance assessment
capability of FMEA 23. Improvement on traditional FMEA restrictions by using
different schemes to recognize and prioritize failure causes in engineering
systems was also performed 5 12.


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