Failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA)
A failure analysis methodology used during design to postulate every failure mode and the corresponding effect or consequences. The analysis begins by selecting the lowest level of interest (part, circuit, or module level). Various failure modes that can occur for each item at this level are identified and enumerated. The effect for each failure mode, considered singly and in turn, is to be interpreted as a failure mode for the next higher function level. Successive interpretations will result in the identification of the effect at the highest function level, or the final consequence. A tabular format is normally used to record the results of such a study.