How to Implement Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) and Control Plan (CP) in Your SAP ERP System

  • by Jawad Akhtar, Head of SAP Delivery, AbacusConsulting
  • November 20, 2014
Discover how failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) and control plan (CP) can enable your company to embark on a continuous path of eliminating defects in products or shortcomings in processes to help you optimize your production and business processes.
Learning Objectives
Reading this article, you will learn how to:
•    Create failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA)
•    Calculate a risk priority number (RPN)
Key Concept
A risk priority number (RPN) calculates the likelihood, the possibility to detect, and the severity of potential product or process failures. It quantifies the overall risk of failure on a scale of 1 to 1,000.

Failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) has been an integral part of businesses in general and manufacturing industries in particular for a significant period of time. In fact, there are various industry standards that attend to FMEA in great detail. However, the ability to record and monitor FMEA has only been available since SAP ERP enhancement package 3.0 and higher. The ability to create FMEA along with all its components and then integrate it with a control plan (CP) in SAP ERP provides the added leverage of having all the critical information in one system (SAP ERP). Further, FMEA also provides an option to create an extensive question list that acts as a validation tool to ensure all questions are eventually validated with correct or desired answers to achieve a reduced risk priority number (RPN).

I describe a step-by-step approach to create FMEA and its elements. These elements are:

  • FMEA
  • Function list
  • Function
  • Prerequisite
  • Characteristic
  • Defect
  • Cause
  • Preventive action
  • Detection action
  • Effect

Jawad Akhtar

Jawad Akhtar earned his chemical engineering degree from Missouri University of Science and Technology. He has 17 years of professional experience, of which nine years are in SAP. He has completed eight end-to-end SAP project implementation lifecycles in the areas of PP, QM, MM, PM, and DMS in the steel, automobile, chemical, fertilizer, FMCG, and building products industries. He also has worked as an SAP integration manager and an SAP project manager. He has been proactively involved in a business development and solution architect role for seven years. He is the author of Production Planning and Control with SAP ERP, it's filled with in-depth infomation on discrete, process, and repetitive manufacturing types. His profile on LinkedIn is at You may follow Jawad on Twitter @jawadahl. Currently, he is associated with AbacusConsulting as Head of SAP Delivery.

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