Identify Risks with the Help of the FMEA Matrix

Every manufacturing company must take into account that various errors can creep in during the production of products. In extreme cases, these errors can lead to a production process being delayed or even having to be stopped. For the company, this scenario is associated with fatal consequences. Because important delivery dates are not met, the company runs the risk of losing a major customer. If the company has to restart the production process, this is only possible at increased cost. An alternative is offered by a comprehensive defect detection analysis. This analysis process enables the company to detect, evaluate and eliminate defects. The core of this fault detection analysis is the FMEA matrix.

Identify Risks with the Help of the FMEA Matrix

What Risks Can Arise in a Production Process?

If a company manufactures a product, there is always a risk that a product development process cannot be completed without disruptions until the end. In addition to machine failures and tool damage, material losses and hidden defects can also be responsible for this.

To prevent these failures from having a negative impact on a company's cost management, they must be eliminated in good time. This troubleshooting requires a thorough risk analysis, which is triggered with the help of a failure analysis.

What is Failure Analysis?

Failure analysis is an analysis procedure that detects, evaluates and eliminates failures in a production process. Early defect detection and elimination ensures that the company can continue production without disruptions. In addition, after a comprehensive risk assessment, there is a higher probability that a detected and eliminated error will not occur again.

An failure analysis can only be carried out successfully if all the participants involved know their tasks and perform them conscientiously. For example, the project management is responsible for ensuring that the risk assessment is carried out with the help of the failure analysis.

The moderator is responsible for the course of the failure analysis process. He/she determines the team that performs the risk assessment, monitors the process and analyzes the results. These are compiled in the FMEA matrix.

The Areas of Application of a Comprehensive Failure Analysis

The FMEA matrix - the core of a comprehensive failure detection and prevention strategy - is mainly used in the application of a production process. The analysis focuses particularly on the critical sub-areas. This is where the analysis procedure for defect prevention focuses. Successful application can pay off for the company in two ways. On the one hand, the company benefits from the fact that the costs for the time-consuming elimination of a defect are kept within limits, and on the other hand, the company convinces its customers with better quality products.

What Does Innovative Risk Management Look Like?

A comprehensive risk analysis requires that a company has developed a sound FMEA matrix. The correct assessment of the risk posed by a detected defect will only lead to success if the various components of the matrix are combined in such a way that they complement each other.

The failure detection and prevention strategy offers the best prerequisites for this. Risk management begins with a meticulous search for possible failures. As soon as a defect is found, its impact is analyzed. If this analysis shows that the failure will lead to an interruption of the production process, it must be eliminated immediately. The matrix of fault analysis also offers the appropriate solutions for this.

The Structure of an FMEA Matrix

An FMEA matrix consists of the three risk matrices BxA, BxE and ExA. Various forms are created from these matrices. Based on the information provided in this form, the risks arising from a failure can be comprehensively identified and analyzed.

The focus of a risk assessment, which is carried out within the matrix, is initially on the fault sequence. In order for the failure to be eliminated, it is necessary to know the type of failure. The user uses this knowledge to identify the cause of the failure. Once he knows why a production process had to be stopped, he can develop a suitable avoidance strategy. In addition, he designs one or more detection actions that help to identify a fault before it affects a production process in such a way that it cannot run smoothly.

The Prerequisites for the Application of the FMEA Matrix

The company creates the prerequisites for the application of the matrix within a risk analysis if FMEA types are coordinated with each other.

System failure analysis, design failure analysis and process failure analysis are applied in a risk assessment.

Each production process is integrated into a higher-level production process. Because defects can also occur in this system network that have a negative effect on the production process, the defect analysis also starts here. The tool used here is the system fault analysis. The interfaces in particular are examined for weak points. With the help of developed concepts, the user carries out a comprehensive risk assessment and thus prevents a detected error from filtering through to the production process.

Defects also occur during the manufacturing or assembly of a product. For this reason, a participant in the FMEA project uses design failure analysis. Here, systematic failures that may arise during the design phase are ruled out.

Ultimately, process failure analysis is also important. This builds on the results of the design failure analysis to exclude defects in the actual manufacturing process.

What Conditions Must a Company Fulfill for a Failure Analysis?

For risk assessment with the help of failure analysis, the company must create the appropriate conditions. This means that a moderator assembles the analysis team, leads it and supervises the failure analysis process.

The moderator can be appointed by the company as an external expert. Alternatively, it is possible for an employee from the company's own staff to take on this activity. The prospective moderator acquires the necessary knowledge and skills during a training course. Here he receives all the information he needs for his new area of responsibility.

Risk analysis also requires that a certain structure be maintained when carrying out the analysis procedure. To meet this requirement, the company uses software for failure analysis.

What are the Benefits of Failure Analysis Software?

The application of the FMEA matrix with the help of appropriate software is associated with a number of advantages for the company using it. The risk assessment is accompanied by a user-friendly menu interface. The software offers the user several tools to create an individual matrix for the upcoming analysis procedure. Here, the software takes into account that successful risk analysis is built on the fact that system failure analysis, design failure analysis and process failure analysis are firmly integrated into the overall process.

For questions, the software provides the user with comprehensive information material. In addition, he can apply the knowledge he has acquired during a training course on failure analysis.


In any manufacturing process, a company must factor in risks that are often not apparent at first glance. These risks arise, for example, because an undetected defect results in a machine not working or not executing the processes that should be triggered.

What helps here is a detailed risk assessment. For this, a failure analysis with the support of the FMEA matrix fulfills all requirements. In this way, the analysis procedure helps to ensure that even undetected faults can be identified and eliminated. In the best case, the risk analysis makes it possible that undetected faults that occur in the system network cannot affect a production process.

In order for the company to analyze and identify as many defects as possible, a comprehensive fault analysis with the support of the matrix is required. The FMEA matrix provides the best prerequisites for a fault analysis that also detects hidden faults and thus ensures that a product development process can run without faults.

For a company that successfully carries out a failure analysis with the help of the matrix, there are two striking advantages at once. The controlling department does not have to calculate additional costs that would have to be spent to correct a defect. In addition, demanding customers are convinced with high-quality products.