This Reliability Bulletin is provided as a guide for engineering and managment personnel concerned with Failure Mode and Effect Analyses (FMEA). In Addition, it provides information concerning technical and functional relationship of Failure Mode and Effect Analyses to associated disciplines, as for example, Maintainability, Safety, and System Effectiveness Analyses. This Bulletin covers requirements, concepts, interface, procedures and reports of FMEA. This Bulletin should contribute to greater utilization of FMEA results and to the understanding and appreciation of the purpose of FMEA on the part of engineering and management personnel.
Failure Mode and Effect Analysis is the study of a system, or portion thereof and working inter-relationships of its elements, to determine ways in which failures can occur (failure modes), effects of each potential failure on the system element in which it occurs and on other system elements, and the probable overall consequences (criticality) of each failrue mode on the success of the system's mission. Criticalities are usually assigned by categories, each category being defined in terms of a specified degree of loss of mission objectives or degradation of personnel safety. Although it is recognized that the human element can be, and requently is a major influence in both causing as well as avoiding failures, this aspect is not specifically treated in this Bulletin.
Reporting of Failure Mode and Effect Analyses is an important action critical to communications of data to and from personnel performing related analyses and planning of design and development, evaluation, testing, quality assurance, logistics and operations.