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A technique used for analyzing the risk associated with potential problems identified during a Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA). RPN utilizes three rating scales:

1. Severity - rates the severity of the potential effect of the failure
2. Occurrence - rates the likelihood that the failure will occur
3. Detection - rates the likelihood that the problem will be detected before it reaches the end-user/customer

Risk Priority Number = severity x occurrence x detection

Tip excerpted from: The Professional's Guide to Maintenance and Reliability Terminology by Ramesh Gulati, Jerry Kahn and Robert Baldwin

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