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What is it: Design Failure Mode Effects Analysis (DFMEA) is the application of the Failure Mode and Effects Analysis method specifically to product design. It is a paper-and-pencil analysis method used in engineering to document and explore ways that a product design might fail in real-world use. A DFMEA documents the key functions of a design, the primary potential failure modes relative to each function and the potential causes of each failure mode. The DFMEA method allows the design team to document what they know and suspect about a product's failure modes prior to completing the design, and then use this information to design out or mitigate the causes of failure.

Why use it: The primary objective of a Design-FMEA is to uncover potential failures associated with the product that could cause:

  • Product malfunctions.
  • Shortened product life.
  • Safety hazards while using the product.

Where to use it: Ideally, the DFMEA is begun at the earliest stages of concept development, and can then be used to help reduce down competing designs and to help generate new, more robust concepts.

When to use it: Design-FMEAs should be used throughout the design process, from preliminary design until the product goes into production.

How to use it: 10 Steps to Conduct a DFMEA:

  1. Review the design — Use a blueprint or schematic of the design/product to identify each component and interface.
  2. Brainstorm potential failure modes — Review existing documentation and data for clues.
  3. List potential effects of failure — There may be more than one for each failure.
  4. Assign Severity rankings — Based on the severity of the consequences of failure.
  5. Assign Occurrence rankings — Based on how frequently the cause of the failure is likely to occur.
  6. Assign Detection rankings — Based on the chances the failure will be detected prior to the customer finding it.
  7. Calculate the RPN — Severity x Occurrence x Detection.
  8. Develop the action plan — Define who will do what by when.
  9. Take action — Implement the improvements identified by your DFMEA team.
  10. Calculate the resulting RPN — Re-evaluate each of the potential failures once improvements have been made and determine their impact on the RPNs.

Preview (Click to enlarge)
  DFMEA Template
Microsoft Excel Format
Microsoft Excel
DFMEA Template
  DFMEA Checklist
Microsoft Excel Format
Microsoft Excel
DFMEA Checklist
USD $9.95
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