FMEA VDA procedural model

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1. Objective (why?)
In product and process development, FMEA at least offers us a capable tool to anticipate: potential malfunctions and their consequences, prevention and verification actions, risk assessment methods.

FMEA history
1949: Mention of FMEA in the military instructions MIL-P-1629
1955: Development of the “Analysis of Potential Problems (APP)” by Kepner-Tregoe
1963: Application of FMEA (failure mode and effects analysis) by NASA for the Apollo project
1971: FMEA application in the food industry
1975: FMEA application in nuclear technology
1977: Start of FMEA application in the automotive industry (Ford)
1980: FMEA application in the USA, Japan, and Europe
1990: FMEA application in medical technology, communications engineering, and mechanical engineering
1995: FMEA application in software development
1996: Optimization of the FMEA systematics by VDA (VDA Volume 4.2)
2002: New edition QS9000 (3rd edition)
2007: New edition VDA (VDA Volume 4.3) “Product- and Process-FMEA”

2. Procedure (how?)
The steps in detail
1. System structure:
This step is used for: System visualization, system delimitation, definition of the interfaces, naming of the system elements

2. Functional analysis:
This step is used for: Functional development and description, visualization of the functional connections and their interactions in functional networks

3. Functional analysis:
This step is used for: Malfunction development and description, visualization of the causes, failures and consequences interactions in malfunction networks

4. Action analysis:
This step is used for: Development and evaluation of the prevention and verification actions (risk assessment), allocation of responsibilities and dates, and action tracking alongside development

A fifth step is the supplementation and continuation of the action analysis until an acceptable residual risk level has been reached.

The FMEA procedural model according to VDA
VDA Volume 4.3 “Product- and Process FMEA” undoubtedly describes one of the best procedures for FMEA development. Complex analysis objects cannot be managed with an orientation towards forms and columns.

Fig. 1: The FMEA procedural model VDA AIAG (source: Dietz Consultants)

System, Product (Design), Process FMEA

Fig. 2: Interactions of FMEA types (source: Dietz Consultants)

3. Result
FMEA success factors:
One of the most important prerequisites for the success of an FMEA is its

  • Timely application in the early product development and manufacturing preparation phase
  • Anchoring in the product development process alongside development
  • Sufficient resources for development and action tracking
  • Methodical FMEA moderator
  • Understanding that malfunctions can be cause, failure type or consequence, depending on the level of consideration