What is FMEA?
FMEA is a risk assessment tool used to thoroughly analyze product design or manufacturing processes that are done in the early product development process.
FMEA was formalized in 1949 by the US Armed Forces by the introduction of the Mil-P 1629 Procedure for performing a failure mode effect and criticality analysis.
It is like a guide to the development of a complete set of actions that will help to reduce the risk associated with the system, subsystem, and components or manufacturing process to an acceptable level.
What is the definition of FMEA?
Here is the Definition of FMEA that you have been looking for.
Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is a method which is used to identify and completely understand the potential failure modes and it’s reason/causes, and the effects of failure on the system or end users for a given product or process.
According to the journal Understanding and Applying the Fundamentals of FMEAs
- Identify and fully understand potential failure modes and their causes, and the effects of failure on the system or end users, for a given product or process.
- Assess the risk associated with the identified failure modes, effects, and causes, and prioritize issues for corrective action.
- Identify and carry out corrective actions to address the most serious concerns.
- The main goal of FMEA is to improve the design.
- It also got other objectives which are mentioned below.
- Identify and prevent safety hazards.
- Minimize loss of product degradation or performance.
- Improve plans for tests and verification plans.
- Process control plans improvement.
- It helps to consider changes to product design or manufacturing process.
- Important product or process characteristics identification.
- Development of online diagnostic techniques.
FMEA standards and guidelines
There are many standards and guidelines published that cover the scope and general procedure for doing FMEAs or FMECAs.
Some of the more common and relevant are:
- SAE J1739, Potential Failure Mode and Effects Analysis in Design (Design FMEA), Potential Failure Mode and Effects Analysis in Manufacturing and Assembly Processes (Process FMEA) 
- AIAG, Potential Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) Reference Manual Fourth Edition 
- MIL-STD-1629A, Procedures for Performing a Failure Mode Effects and Criticality Analysis (Cited for cancelation in 1994, but still used in some military and other applications)
- SAE ARP5580, Recommended Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) Practices for NonAutomobile Applications 
- IEC 60812, Analysis techniques for system reliability – Procedure for failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) 
What are the types of FMEA?
There are various types of FMEA.
But all are focused on risk assessment and detection, elimination, and/or mitigation of critical failure risk events.
There are four important common types of FMEA which are listed below.
- SYSTEM FMEA
- DESIGN FMEA
- PROCESS FMEA
- SERVICE FMEA.
System Failure Mode and Effects Analysis
The highest-level analysis of an entire system made up of various subsystems is System Failure Mode and Effects Analysis.
This focuses mainly on system-related deficiencies, including “system safety, system integration, interfaces or interactions between Carlson subsystems or with other systems, interactions with the surrounding environment, human interaction, service, and other issues” that could cause the overall system not to work as intended.
In System FMEAs, the focus is on functions and relationships that are unique to the system as a whole (i.e., do not exist at lower levels).
this includes the failure modes associated with interfaces and interactions, in addition to considering single-point failures.
Design Failure Mode and Effects Analysis
Design FMEA focuses on product design, typically at the subsystem or component level.
The focus is on design-related deficiencies, with emphasis on improving the design and ensuring product operation is safe and reliable during the useful life of the equipment.
The scope of the Design FMEA includes the subsystem or component itself, as well as the interfaces between adjacent components.
Design FMEA usually assumes the product will be manufactured according to specifications.
Process Failure Mode and Effects Analysis
The Process Failure Mode Effects Analysis initially identifies process functions, failure modes their effects on the process.
A PFMEA is a structured analytical tool used by organizations, cross-functional teams, manufacturing departments to identify and evaluate the potential failures of a process.
process failure mode and effect analysis is a structured, qualitative, analytical framework that helps to identify how can this process, function, facility, or tooling fail? and their effects on the end product and how can this failure be eliminated or controlled.
PFMEAs may be performed on new processes or to improve current processes.