Focus on failure avoidance and risk reduction through Variation Mode and Effect Analysis (VMEA)
Conference contribution, 2009
Variation Mode and Effect Analysis (VMEA) is a quality improvement tool initially thought to help product development engineers focusing on variation. The method was inspired by the wide use of Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) in business and industry and the increased attention on robust design. However, FMEA is based on the concept of failure while VMEA is developed on the concept of variation, i.e. it implies a step further toward the awareness of variation and its implications in terms of risk and failures.
VMEA helps identifying, scrutinizing and measuring the sources of variation and the way they channel through and impact on important characteristics of the system under study. Applied systematically, it provides a solid basis for achieving system robustness. Three VMEA procedures have been set up for use at different system maturity levels.
Several applications have been made over the last five years showing the usefulness of the tool for both product and process (here including also service) improvement. This presentation is aimed at giving an overview of the VMEA method and its possible ways/areas of use in the entire product/process development.