Generic/Reverse/Micro-step FMEA

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    what is the difference between Generic/Reverse/micro-step FMEA?


    James Masefield

    Hi @laylay,

    Are you familiar with the general concept of FMEA? Do you know it’s purpose? Why are you asking the question? Do you need to implement them?

    A generic FMEA is simply an FMEA that covers your processes. Multiple products may be produced down your processes, but the core parts of the FMEA would remain unchanged, hence the title; Generic.

    I’ll be honest, personally, I’ve never heard of a Reverse FMEA or a Micro-step FMEA.

    A quick search online revealed that a Reverse FMEA can be initiated as soon as the parts are in production. The idea of it is to purposely challenge the processes by doing things wrong and see if the system detects / prevents the failure from occurring and make improvements from there.

    I quote ASQ:

    “A reverse FMEA (RFMEA) and service FMEA (SFMEA) can be initiated as soon as the manufacturing team has production-intent parts in the production phase. This will help address human factors and process risks by reducing defect opportunities.

    In an RFMEA, operators are asked to install components upside down or backward—or omit them completely. Then, it is noted how far down the line the assembly progresses before the defect is detected. This helps identify where improved detective controls are needed”.

    Although I hadn’t heard of this RFMEA before, we’ve certainly undertaken tasks like this many times. It seems to be more about physically going onto the shop-floor after an FMEA is complete and challenging your processes with known defective actions to see the effects, and then to take action.

    Micro-step FMEA:
    Nothing really shows up regarding a micro-step FMEA. Is this an internal terminology?

    The only thing I could relate the phrase, ‘micro-step’ to is the process steps. Firstly, you’d complete a control plan using main process steps or departments. Within those main headers, you’d have micro-steps to describe what goes on in more detail in those departments or processes.

    But what do I know? My statements are not answers on the Reverse and Micro-step FMEA. They’re merely me speculating after minimal research, applying some 1+1 sense combined with my current knowledge of FMEA. It’d be good to get some others input as I am too here to learn.

    I’m proficient with PFMEAs, managing them on a regular basis in the Automotive industry. I’ve never worked in a company that are design responsible so I’ve never touched DFMEAs.

    James :)



    As I understand it, micro-step FMEA is doing a PFEMEA for a specific step in the process, decomposing that step into its most elemental operations. That might make sense for a mission critical “failure is not an option” process.


    Micro FMEA is a check list type summary, the check list require you to consider setting of your process, act your process, then get the out put result. At setting step it require you think about 4M1E & tooling, at process step, if it is machine or automation, then you might need to confirm the recipe is correct, if it is manual operation, then make sure operator know the method (this might be overlap with man of 4M, when the process is nearly finished, output from the process may have good product, sometime may have bad product (so here you need to collect the detection rete)
    In short, micro FMEA require you analyze process step by step, motion by motion in more detail, so found the step who might go wrong, so do necessary prevention to eliminate occurrence.

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