UPDATED 12th June 2019: Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is a cross functional systematic and analytic process to identify, analyse and mitigate risk related to product design and manufacturing.

When used correctly it fully supports Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP), and improves customer satisfaction through emphasising defect prevention.

In addition IATF 16949 requires that organisations assess the risk within Product and Process Design and development stages.

This is detailed in the following specific clauses

3.2.1 Design and development planning:-

  1. c) Development and review of product design risk analysis (FMEA’s) include action to reduce potential risk.

3.5.1 Design and development output:-

  1. a) design risk analysis (FMEA)

3.5.2 Manufacturing process design output:-

  1. g) Manufacturing process FMEA.

Suppliers who are currently supplying products to both the German and North American (N.A) OEMs have to evaluate their product using the VDA or AIAG approach to FMEA. Due to the differences in the scoring tables for severity, occurrence and detection, this sometime results in confusion and duplication of effort to satisfy the OEM’s requirements.

To improve the FMEA development process and in an attempt to remove this possible confusion AIAG and VDA completed its work to harmonise their individual publications into one single handbook.

This joint handbook, which is is now released and available via our web shop, will replace the existing AIAG and VDA publications. It will combine the best practices from the current AIAG and VDA manuals and provide an approach which will meet the requirements of both the German and North American OEMs.

Probably the most noticeable change in this joint methodology is the use of a 7 step approach.

This approach is seen to be more structured and so assists cross functional teams to be more effective and efficient in the use of FMEA.

The first step of planning & preparation contains enhanced directions and has increased focus to improve clarity and understanding of the FMEA activity across cross functional teams. This reduces time wasted later due to lack of full team understanding.

Other changes in the joint AIAG/VDA handbook include increased criteria specificity, increased focus on incorporating past lessons learned and improved linkages to The Cost of Quality (COQ).

Next Steps

If you are currently using AIAG FMEA 4th Edition or VDA 4, read and understand the new AIAG & VDA handbook as soon as possible. Some things have stayed the same but many things have changed. The publication is now available via our web shop.

If you identify gaps in your current FMEA process ensure adequate training is provided to your cross functional teams employed in developing FMEAs.

Confirm your customer specific requirements and incorporate these into all of your actions.

Pilot, implement and then standardise the new business process.

Industry Forum is running both awareness and practitioner training so if you would like to find out more please view the relevant course pages. You can also sign up for FMEA updates direct to your inbox. 

Relevant courses

AIAG/VDA Combined FMEA Awareness Training (1 Day)

AIAG & VDA Process FMEA: Transitioning for Practitioners (2 Day)

Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) Training (1 Day) – AIAG 4th edition


Useful resource

VDA and AIAG FMEA Alignment – FAQs