Failure Modes Effects and Criticality Analysis

The cost in terms of dollars, hazards, and/or schedule delays from potential failures is a significant concern in product development. Documenting the intended use, the system and software requirements and the hazards associated with a product/system aids in eliminating or mitigating undesired effects caused by failures. A Failure Modes Effects and Criticality Analysis (FMECA) identifies and offers solutions to potential failures. A product FMECA identifies the hazardous event, the cause, the method of control, and the corrective action. A software FMECA identifies similar information for each software component/function. Corrective actions include fail-safe mechanisms, redundant controls, error-handling routines, fault-tolerance, alarms, testing activities and documentation warnings. Software safety requirements implemented to eliminate, minimize, or warn of a specific hazard that should be traceable through the FMECA.

Analex follows a systems approach to performing FMECA utilizing our extensive hardware and software engineering knowledge. Multiple analyses are used in determining the type of testing required for a particular system. A Criticality Analysis reveals areas of the system that are vital to the safety of the product. The Failure Mode Analysis identifies the ramifications which would result in the event of potential failures. The Criticality and Failure Modes Analysis results are combined into a Response Analysis which determines how to best mitigate the effects of each potential failure.


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