System FMEA

Concept/Function/System FMEA


There are several different types of risk analysis tools known as Failure Mode Effects Analysis (FMEA).  Even though what is being analyzed is slightly different and the assessment criteria may change some, the step-by-step approach or technique still remains essentially the same.  Concept, Function, System, Design, and Process are some of the more common types of FMEA.

  • The Concept FMEA is used to analyze concepts in the early stages
    before hardware is defined (most often at system and subsystem).
  • It focuses on potential failure modes associated with the proposed
    functions of a concept proposal.
  • This type of FMEA includes the interaction of multiple systems and
    interaction between the elements of a system at the concept stages.


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.