|Copyright 2006-Present by FMEA-FMECA.com. All rights reserved.
Concept FMEAs - It is fairly common
during the early stages of product
development to explore different
approaches or concepts against
customer requirements in order to come
up with a final approach. Sometimes
these are referred to as feasibility
studies. These studies can prove to be
invaluable in eliminating poor design
concepts or those with inherent risks.
A Concept FMEA is normally a
streamlined FMEA, which plays a vital
role in the feasibility study. It can be
used to identify potential safety or
reliability risks associated with a
proposed design approach or concept.
Since the FMEA is done during the
conceptual phase of the project,
potential risks as they relate to a
conceptual design and its proposed
functions can be identified and
considered before any actual design
work proceeds. This can save the
company both time and money that
might otherwise be invested in the
design of a flawed approach.
Key Points - Concept FMEA
- The Concept FMEA is used to analyze concept alternatives in the early stages before
a final concept is selected and hardware is defined (most often at system and
- It focuses on potential failure modes associated with the proposed functions of a
- In order to streamline or shorten the FMEA process, be sure and focus on the
concept's primary functions and limit the scope to those failure modes, effects, and
causes that are the greatest concern.
- This type of FMEA includes the interaction of multiple systems and interaction
between the elements of a system at the concept stages.
Remember that the FMEA is an essential design evaluation procedure which should not be
limited to the phase traditionally thought of as the design phase. The initial FMEA should be
done early in the conceptual phase when design criteria, mission requirements, and
conceptual designs are being developed to evaluate the design approach and to compare
the benefits of competing design configurations. The FMEA will provide quick visibility of
the more obvious failure modes and identify potential single failure points, some of which
can be eliminated with minimal design effort. As the design definitions become more refined,
the FMEA can be expanded to successively more detailed levels.
For all practical purposes the report format used for a Concept FMEA is the same as a
regular Design FMEA. Some of the columns or headings may be tailored to fit your needs.