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- To promote the use of FMEA as a most powerful engineering tool, with
capabilities that go far beyond pure quality improvements
- To support new developments and improvements to the FMEA methodology, FMEA
tools and software by
- Offering a central FMEA information platform where information, ideas and
opinions about FMEA can be shared
How the idea came to life:
Around 1985 ago I discovered FMEA, while working at a major Consumer
Electronics Company. At that time I considered, as many of my colleague
designers, FMEA to be a bureaucratic method: "Get the sheet completed and let's
get to usual business asap". Apparently we preferred to waste our time doing
things twice or even more, in stead of trying to it right from the first time.
"Doing things right from the first time", was considered as Pep-talk from our
managers who had spend to much time in Japan. Also when it really came to
urgencies, the management pushed us to forget about Quality and get the products
ready to be shipped. Time seemed to be more important than quality.
Several years later I moved to an industrial research centre that had many
small companies as clients. I started reading again about design methods and got
interested in tools and methods like Value Analysis, Design for Assembly and
Manufacturing, Quality Function Deployment and finally rediscovered my old
courses about FMEA. During my consultancy activities for our clients I found out
that most of them had heard about FMEA (and most of the other methods), but that
they were not using them. When we organized a seminar or a short course, then
all places in our seminar room were occupied. And yet when we contacted the
companies some weeks after they followed our seminar and left with the most
ambitious plans to start with FMEA, we heard nothing but excuses, none finally
started using FMEA. This was strange because we knew these companies had quality
problems, they had service problems, their products were to expensive and their
product development was improvisation all over.
What was wrong? We didn't know. A complaint often heard was the lack of time,
so we decided to develop a software for our clients to support them to perform
FMEA in a more rapid way. We spend thousands of dollars for, you guess it, a
useless software. The problem was something else, what it is I still don't know.
I guess it's the lack of spirit.
Why are you doing this ?
We can not accept that methods like FMEA, DFA, QFD, ... with a proven track
record of success are not more used by companies that definitely could benefit
from it. Making money was not and still is not our main reason for doing this
job: all the information on this site is free. Our main reason is probably
a kind of intellectual hunger and maybe in the end we like to get famous, who
Why did you choose FMEA ?
FMEA has all ingredients to be successful: it's easy (at least it doesn't
involve much high tech knowledge), it doesn't require investments, you get
results almost immediately and it can be applied to all kind of activities and
in all sectors, even in your day to day life.
What are your further plans ?
We have started at the end of 1999 with a small web-site (we are not really
computer freaks, so forgive us the simplicity of the site). One year later, we
managed to elaborate it into a dedicated FMEA Information Centre.
Our intention was to run this site for six months, maybe a year, in the
meantime we hoped to obtain enough critical mass to transfer our, by then,
mature child to a non-commercial organization or research institute that could
put more time in this effort than we could. Things do not always run as you
like. Years after the start we still maintain the site. We've learned a lot
about the internet and tools to maintain a website. We do not regret we did this
effort, but we keep on looking for a some one to take over the site. A site that
now has its own domain name, thousands of visitors, several thousand of members
in our community. In case your organization is candidate to do this job, please
do contact us right now.
After running the site for more than 5 years, it became a little bit crowed,
disorganized, ... a mess. So we finally decided early 2006 to redesign it:
improving the parts of the site that where visited most, dropping out those
obscure parts that where never visited.
We're now ready for another 5 or more years. May the FMEA spirit be with you!
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