During the Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) process once the failure modes are identified and their Risk Priority Number (RPN) calculated it is essential to determine actions that are needed, to reduce the risks or remove the failure altogether.
These actions are known as Corrective Actions. These corrective actions are determined and agreed upon by the team members involved in the FMEA. The team needs to consider the current controls in place, and ways to improve them, along with the cost and effectiveness of each corrective action.
When developing actions to reduce or eliminate a failure, the following questions can help guide the choices made:
- What safeguards and detection tools are needed to prevent future occurrences?
- What would have to go wrong for the failure to happen again, and how can it be prevented?
- Is there a way to change things to reduce the risks and failure occurrence?
- If there was to be another failure, how quickly could it be detected, and the process or design stopped to correct it?
Each Failure mode can have multiple recommended corrective actions, but care must be taken to only select ones which are feasible and effective to address the risks fully and reduce them.
How can there be multiple corrective actions per risk or failure mode? This is because there can be an action to reduce the severity of the risk, while another action can reduce how often the risk occurs, and another can improve the ability to detect future risks.
Corrective Actions can be steps, such as:
- Installing sensors to identify misalignment of cutters
- Install Machine alert lights to notify machine operators to an issue
- Additional staff training on systems
- Redesign components or a step in a process
- Introduce the use of additional checks or Statistical Process Control charts on machines
Some corrective actions might require involving suppliers of materials or equipment to ensure that they fit within the design or process requirements.
Once corrective action has been determined to be both effective in reducing the risk and is cost-effective, a team member needs to be assigned. This team member is responsible for managing the implementation of the corrective action, ensuring it is completed by its due date. The team sets this due date as part of the corrective action selection process.
Looking for help to review your FMEA process or create a new one? Contact McDonald Consulting Group to help. We will help you evaluate your needs, and come up with the most cost-effective solution with easy implementation for your organization. McDonald Consulting Group offers both in-house classes (which may be customized) and public offerings.