The Reverse FMEA Through Process Audits


You may be familiar with Reverse FMEA. We have covered previously what the Reverse FMEA does and what it seeks to do. Here we are going to look at giving some economy in terms of doing one thing and meeting the needs of the Reverse FMEA.



That is through including the Reverse FMEA as a methodology when you do process auditing. There are customer specific requirements for some methodologies of process auditing such as VDA 6.3 or Layered Process audits. These are completely valid and if you spend a little time strategizing. You will see that everything in Reverse FMEA is already being done through a process audit of some form. Ask yourself “Are you required to do process audits as a part of your IATF certification?’’ the short answer is yes. Second, “Does the process audit require you to bring the FMEA in as part of your risk-based planning on process audits?”, absolutely it does.

Keep in mind the Reverse FMEA is a bottom-up validation of the assumptions you made in the FMEA. By checking your assumptions in the FMEA you are exploring it through the lens of process so there is no difference there.

Your auditors and your customers will look for Reverse FMEA and some may even look for separate process audits. This comes down to how you report them. If you can clearly prove that you have done a process audit (even if you’re doing VDA 6.3 and Layered Process audits as part of that audit) if you went in with a Reverse FMEA approach you will be able to make your case.

Now remember that when you do this one of the important things is the team that is performing the audit, and the management it is reported to. The Reverse FMEA is an opportunity to align the reality of what you are doing with the process that you laid out initially to create your risk profile. Make sure that not only our reporting structure clearly shows the Reverse FMEA activity going on but also the report up structure to the next level of management.

The action items coming out should be the action items in your process audits need to clearly show the process items being driven from the Reverse FMEA activity.

In conclusion, the Reverse FMEA is a form of process audit, and you can align and strategize to do more than one thing when you go out and audit your process.

To learn more, take a look at our related videos below or browse the Plexus International training catalog.

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