FMEA, controls

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    When we do an FMEA and consider current cotrols in place, 99% of the time is the answer is “none”.
    Do we have a problem or do we have a rich seam of oppotrunities ?



    It depends on what you have in the columns for severity and frequency of occurrence. The decision to take action is frequently tied to the RPN number. The higher the number, the more likely you should do something. If you have ones in severity and occurrence, then you probably don’t need to take any action. However, if it is a safety concern, I would certainly consider the consequences of having no detection.
    It is curious that you have no controls on your service or product. Does that mean that you have highly capable processes that don’t produce and errors or defects?
    Eileen, Quality Disciplines


    Steve McMullen

    It depends!!  If your only opportunity for improvement lies in RPN’s with this level of control, then there is a rich seam of opportunities, otherwise, pick the issues with higher RPN’s.



    To have no control where there is no reason to have one is neither a problem nor an oportunity. However:
    1) Are you sure there is no control where you put “none”? Sometimes a failure mode or its cause can be detected by means that where not intended to detect exactly that problem. For example, you can have several parameters or characterisitcs that are highly correlated, and then monitoring one of them is enough to controll several of them. Other times the failure can be detected in next steps in the process flow. Remember also the controls that are done, for example, at start-up, or once a year, etc (in a performance test, in a layout inspection, etc.).
    2) Instead of thinking if a control is needed or not, try definning a sound criteria for “action needed” (based on NPR, significance, severity, a combination of those, etc.) and then think which is the best action to take in each case. Sometimes it is better to reduce the occurrence than adding a control.
    3) If after analything the two previos points the conclusion is that a control is needed, then not having one is a problem or/and an opportunity.

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