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Fault Tree Analysis and FMEA Relationship

Fault Tree Analysis Fundamentals

  • When to use FTA instead of, or in combination with, FMEA
  • Similarities and Differences with FMEA
  • Symbols and Structure
  • Cut-set Development

Fault Tree Analysis (FTA) starts at the high level hazard and digs deeply to the root cause through many levels on the same document. The FTA has cut-sets which resemble 5 Why. This may seem like a desirable approach initially; however FTA does not reduce the number or permutations of possible failure. This makes the FTA large and sometimes unmanageable.

FMEA Training can include an Introduction to FTA, including the FTA symbols, structure of the tree and the development of cut-sets for probability evaluation. FMEA Training which includes FTA allows the two tools to work together. FMEA sorts the vital few from the trivial many and FTA digs deeply to the potential root cause. FTA arrives at the potential root cause faster if it is directed by the FMEA risk.

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