Failure Modes, Effects & Criticality Analysis

 EPConsult Energies has in-depth experience in conducting Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) and FMECA (Failure Modes, Effects and Criticality Analysis). We have applied FMECA techniques to the evaluation of a diverse range of hardware/plant such as actuated valves, hot-tap systems, HIPPS systems, collet connectors, FlexJoints®, diverless repair systems, tanker loading buoys, high-integrity pressure protection systems, detection and safety devices, cooling water plants, etc.

FMEA identifies the potential failure modes of a component in systems, their causes and their effects on these systems, the safeguards already incorporated and the potential additional mitigation measures that could be considered. In addition, an FMEA includes a qualitative assessment of the severity and probability of occurrence of each failure mode. In other words, it is a methodology to identify, prioritise, and eliminate potential failures from the system.

An FMECA is similar to an FMEA, except that the severity and probability of occurrence of each failure mode are assessed quantitatively rather than qualitatively. These analyses are presented in a spreadsheet (worksheet) format. Traditionally, the spreadsheet was filled out directly, and it was always difficult to be sure whether the study was truly systematic. However, EPConsult Energies has developed a highly structured approach to the performance of FMEA/FMECA that increases confidence that important issues have been captured. This is achieved by carrying out a number of preliminary steps, including the preparation of a component relationship diagram, a function net for each system function and a failure net for each system failure mode. All data is input for the relevant diagrams and finally the FMEA/FMECA spreadsheet is generated automatically by software from the various diagrams.

In order to ensure that all potential failures have been considered and proper provisions have been made for failure elimination, the analysis should be performed during the conceptual/FEED design phase of the system, where we are able to provide the greatest impact on the system reliability.
FMEA/FMECA can be applied as a precursor to a FTA/RAM Analysis or a Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA), or as a standalone study.
FMECA usually results in risk being reduced by introducing:

  • Design alterations/ reconfigurations
  • New and innovative safety functions
  • Detection and safety devices
  • Failure elimination
  • Criticality analysis
  • Systems and procedures
  • Training of personnel

The findings of the FMECA are applied to, and generally add value to:

  • Maintenance plans
  • Manufacturing plans
  • High reliability design selection
  • Systems and equipment operations
  • Requirements for test equipments and planning
  • Considerations in future design changes

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