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FMEA is not enough

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1 Author(s)
Bidokhti, N. ; Cisco Syst., San Jose, CA

A failure modes and effects analysis is a methodology for analysis of potential failure modes within a system which includes the classification of the failure modes severity and impact on the system. Most organizations stop at the completion of the FMEA and assume that the work is done and a solid design will now be created. It is not always the case. There is a significant amount of work that needs to go into a solid design before and after an FMEA from the fault management (FM) perspective. Also, there are challenges to prove that the content of the FMEA is correct and it will add value to the overall product. The key is to connect the dots that make up a fault management infrastructure. This paper will discuss these points and provide the blue print of their relationships and how to take advantage of each element and effectively connect them to observe their power. This approach provides tangible results that customers can understand and relate to. In addition, it provides clear, straight forward and meaningful results that can not be disputed and can even be tested in the customer environment. After completion of an FMEA, it is important to verify the information provided by the hardware, software and the rest of the FMEA team. Finally, this paper discusses the concept of Fault Insertion Testing or FIT, relation of FIT to FMEA and how FIT enables design engineers and all interested parties to observe if the product is performing as expected. There are different methods for performing FIT. Each method will be discussed at a high level. One of the key differences in the approach being suggested in this paper is the final step of the fault management process which is to tie the FMEA and fault insertion testing together. These two activities complement each other and significantly increase their value by being performed right after one another. The FMEA provides the necessary information such as fault insertion points and the required parameters to execute fault ins- ertion testing.

Published in:

Reliability and Maintainability Symposium, 2009. RAMS 2009. Annual

Date of Conference:

26-29 Jan. 2009