Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail... Using FMEA & FMEA Software to Mitigate Risks

Mary Bray, Key Account Manager with QA Assistant discusses failure to plan and how it can be addressed with adapting FMEA & APQP methodolgy including Design Failure Modes Effects Analysis ( dFMEA ), Process Failure Modes Effects Analysis ( pFMEA ), Control Plans, Process Flows, and other Advanced Product Quality Planning ( APQP ) documents.

Preventing failures using QA Assistant Studio

Late fall and early winter months, see snow-covered mountains become invaded by hunters. One ambitious pair climbed high up a mountain in search of their prey. The trail crossed a small glacier that had crusted over. The lead hunter had to stomp a foot-hold in the snow, one step at a time, in order to cross the glacier.

Somewhere near the middle of the glacier, his next stomp hit not snow but a rock. The lead hunter lost his footing and fell. Down the crusty glacier he zipped, off the edge and out of sight.

Unable to help, his companion watched him slide away. After a while, he shouted out, "Are you OK?"

"Yes!" came the answer.

Reasoning that it was a quick way off the glacier, the second hunter plopped down and accelerated down the ice, following his friend. There, just over the edge of the glacier, was his friend...holding onto the top of a tree that barely protruded from the snow.

There were no other treetops nearby, nothing to grab, nothing but a hundred-foot drop onto the rocks below. As the second hunter shot past the first, he uttered his final epitaph: a single word, which we won't print here lest children are reading...

Now we are all guilty at some stage of making assumptions on a perceived certainty, hopefully with not such devastating consequences as our hapless hunter! But mistakes cost money, they lose faith in our product, can lose us customers or at the very least delay product launch.

The importance of performing proper FMEA's in helping minimize the likelihood of failure cannot be overstated. Engineers spend months, even years designing a new product. With the excitement of release date and the total conviction in the new product, it takes intelligence to take a step back and ask the question 'What happens if this fails?'

Unlike our now ex-hunter, smart engineers realise that FMEA is one of the most important tools to have for design and product development. Of all the smart engineers, the smartest engineers use powerful FMEA software to control their FMEA documents. Therefore we can safely come to the conclusion that...

"Only the Smartest Engineers use QA Assistant Studio™". Are YOU one of them?