Original Date: 05/08/1995
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Failure Mode, Effect, and Criticality Analysis
McDonnell Douglas Aerospace (MDA)-St. Louis has developed detailed documentation and software to support Failure Mode, Effect, and Criticality Analysis (FMECA) patterned on the MIL-STD-1629A methodology. FMECA is used to evaluate the potential impact of each system failure mode on mission success, personnel and system safety, and performance.
FMECA consists of two distinct steps. First, a Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is conducted to identify all failure modes within a system design. Secondly, a Criticality Analysis is conducted to rank each failure mode identified in FMEA according to the combined influence of severity classification and its probability of occurrence. The results of the Criticality Analysis determine the requirement for design control of catastrophic and critical failure modes.
Previously, FMECA was conducted and documented manually through a tedious, labor-intensive process. The need to standardize and computerize this process was driven by the implementation of integrated product teams. The use of these teams required that the data to perform FMECA had to come from several personnel with varying backgrounds and varying geographic locations. Additionally, much of the data needed to initiate a FMECA had to come from vendors.
To solve these problems, MDA-St. Louis developed a VAX-based software package called Automation Software for Supportability Engineering Tasks. This system standardized data input, analysis, output reports, and documentation of the analysis. Further, standardizing and planning the FMECA process simplified the management of supplier data. Engineers could then know what information to ask for, what format was required, and what the associated timeframes were.
Automating this system means that now a typical FMECA can be conducted in one-tenth the time required manually. The new system increases efficiency by allowing the re-use of data for follow-on FMECA for similar systems or for similar components within systems. The process also benefits logistical planning because the expected failure modes and rates are determined during FMECA.
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