FMEA 101

Podcast: FMEA 101: Conducting Failure Modes and Effects Analyses

March 28, 2024
Do you know the benefits of conducting an FMEA at your plant? Brian Hronchek explains the benefits you're missing out on in this episode of Great Question: A Manufacturing Podcast.

What is an FMEA? When should you use it? Why is it an important step in helping maintenance teams move from a break-fix maintenance state to one that's more proactive? In this episode of Great Question: A Manufacturing Podcast, Plant Services editor-in-chief Thomas Wilk spoke with a specialist in the reliability field, Brian Hronchek, to start answering these questions and more about failure modes and effects analyses. Brian draws from his former experience as a reliability engineer for U.S. Steel, maintenance manager for Exxon Mobil, and a 16-year veteran of the Marine Corps, in addition to his current work as a principal trainer and consultant at Eruditio.

Below is an excerpt from the podcast:

PS: Brian and I touched base about a week and a half ago at the MARCON event at the University of Tennessee's Reliability and Maintainability Center. We got talking about FMEAs and he was telling me a couple of occasions where he'd been with some clients and he had been able to work with them to demystify the whole process of what an FMEA was. And for a lot of listeners, you might already be familiar with FMEAs (we know we do serve the reliability community), but Brian and I thought, hey, you know what? Why not capture this conversation and podcast to share with everyone. So Brian, thank you especially for being here to talk about this topic.

BH: Not a problem, not a problem. This is just so much fun. You know, we love to see that light bulb moment when someone realizes, like, “ohh, it's so much easier, I got it” and then it becomes functional. So excited to share this today.

PS: Excellent, let's start with FMEA 101. For those for whom this is the first time encountering this term, what is an FMEA?

BH: FMEA stands for failure modes and effects analysis, and there's a modification of the tool, and this really what we're going to talk about, is the failure modes and effects criticality analysis, or FMECA. A failure modes and effects analysis is really useful for an OEM when they don't understand your operating context. But once you bring it into the operating context, then you can start to calculate or evaluate the impact on the business and determine which failure modes are more important than others. So we're going to talk failure modes and effects criticality analysis.

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