Difference Between FMEA and FMECA


Both, FMEA and FMECA, are two methodologies used in the production process, and the basic fact in the difference between FMEA and FMECA is that one is the extension of the other. To further explain, Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) and Failure Modes, Effects and Criticality Analysis (FMECA) are two types of techniques used in identifying particular failures or errors within a product or process and to take corrective actions in order to rectify the problems; and FMECA is a development to FMEA. This article presents to you a further analysis of the difference between FMEA and FMECA.

What is FMEA?

FMEA stands for Failure Modes and Effects Analysis and it can be considered as a step-by-step approach to determine the failures or errors that occur in the manufacturing, design or assembly processes or within the products or services.

Failure modes mean the modes or the ways that affect the failures. Failures may lead to customer dissatisfaction, which may results in the reduction of the sales volume. Effects analysis refers to studying the consequences or reasons for those failures. Therefore, the purpose of the FMEA is to take necessary actions/steps to eliminate or reduce failures, starting with the highest-priority ones.

FMEA is used at the design stage in order to prevent failures. Then, it is used in the control stage, before and during ongoing operation of the process. FMEA should be started at the earliest conceptual stages of design and needs to continue throughout the life of the product or service.

Difference Between FMEA and FMECA

FMEA can be used in,

• Designing or redesigning the process, product or service after the quality function deployment.

• When developing a product with more features.

• Before developing control plans for a new process.

• At the time of improvement goals are planned for an existing process, product or service.

• Analyzing failures of an existing process, product or service. 

What is FMECA?

FMECA is an improved version of FMEA by adding a criticality analysis section, which is used to chart the probability of failure modes against the impact of the consequences. FMECA can be illustrated as a method used for identifying the failures of the system, the reasons behind the failures and the impact of those failures. With the term Criticality, the FMECA process can be used in identifying and focusing on the areas of design with much concern.

Further, FMECA can be useful in improving the designs for products and processes, which would result in higher reliability, increased safety, better quality, cost reduction and increased customer satisfaction. When establishing and optimizing the maintenance plans for repairable systems and other quality assurance procedures this tool would be helpful.

In addition, both FMEA and FMECA are required to fulfill the quality and safety requirements, such as ISO 9001, Six Sigma, Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), Process Safety Management Act, etc.

What is the difference between FMEA and FMECA?

• FMEA method provides only qualitative information while FMECA provides qualitative as well as quantitative information, which gives the ability to measure as it attaches a level of criticality to failure modes.

• FMECA is an extension of FMEA. Therefore, in order to perform FMECA, it is required to perform FMEA followed by critical analysis.

• FMEA determines the failure modes of a product or process and their effects, while Criticality Analysis ranks those failure modes in order of importance by considering the failure rate.