The key difference between PFMEA and DFMEA is that PFMEA helps to analyze potential failures of a particular process of a business unit whereas DFMEA helps to analyze potential failures of a design of a product.
The method of FMEA (Failure Mode Effects Analysis) helps to identify potential failure modes of a process at operations management and a design at product development stage within a system and categorize failures based on likelihood and severity of the failure. Failure mode refers to any defects or errors in a design, process, or an item, which affects the customer. “Effects analysis” refers to the study of the consequences of the failures.
What is PFMEA?
PFMEA stands for Process Failure Mode Effects Analysis. This methodology can identify potential failure modes in processes at the operations level. In general, a technically experienced team conducts PFMEA. The basic process is collecting adequate data for the causes of failure modes to rectify or minimize the effects of the failure mode.
Furthermore, PFMEA is a structured tool used by all kinds of organizations. It helps in building the impacts of failure modes and prioritizes the actions necessary for relieving the risk. PFMEA is documented and presented before launching any new processes to reduce potential hazards. Moreover, it is also possible to apply this to prevailing processes in order to achieve continual improvement of the system.
What is DFMEA?
DFMEA stands for Design Failure Mode Effects Analysis. This methodology helps to identify potential failures in product designs at the development stage. In most of the cases, engineers use this as a procedure to explore the possibility of design failure in a real-world situation or use.
The primary tool engineers for DFMEA is a DFMEA matrix. This matrix presents a structure for compiling and document related information including technical specifications, issue dates, revision dates, and team members. Generally, DFMEA is teamwork of technical expertise and probably a cross-functional team. Moreover, DFMEA does not rely on process controls to overcome possible design failures
What are the Similarities Between PFMEA and DFMEA?
- PFMEA and DFMEA are two types of Failure mode effects analysis.
- Basic steps in DFMEA and PFMEA are similar, but they have two different applications.
- Both DFMEA and PFMEA indicate possible failures, the severity of the risks, existing controls, recommendations and improvements after recommended actions.
- The ultimate objective of both is to reduce or avoid major lapses of products and production.
- These methodologies may bring down the cost of design or operation as well.
- Furthermore, some failures may not be mitigated at the DFMEA. These failures can be transferred to PFMEA for taking necessary controls for product improvement.
What is the Difference between PFMEA and DFMEA?
The main difference between PFMEA and DFMEA is that PFMEA involves processes while DFMEA involves product designs. The primary objective of DFMEA is to uncover potential failures of product designs whereas the primary objective of PFMEA is to uncover potential failures of processes. The basic review of DFMEA is conducted with the use of product schematic, while PFMEA is conducted using a process flow chart. Another difference between PFMEA and DFMEA is that PFMEA happens at the operational level whereas DFMEA happens at the development stage.
Summary- PFMEA vs DFMEA
The key difference between PFMEA and DFMEA is that PFMEA helps to analyze potential failures of a particular process at operation level whereas DFMEA helps to analyze potential failures of a product design at design and development level. Moreover, these methodologies will bring down production costs and as well as possible failures in product launches.
1. “Should You Be Doing a Design or a Process FMEA? (DFMEA or PFMEA).” My CMS, 20 Jan. 2017, Available here.
1. “FMEA” By Dieter vandeun – Own work (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia