Archive for FMEA

Get ready for changes to the AIAG FMEA Manual in 2019

A draft of the AIAG-VDA FMEA Handbook was released in November 2017.  Feedback was sought throughout the automotive industry, tweaks made and it is finally ready to be released in 2Q2019.  It is clear that the 2019 changes to FMEAs for the automotive sector are BIG! The handbook represents the culmination of a four year project completely revising the AIAG FMEA Manual, a collaboration between OEMs and Tier 1 supplier members of the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) and Verband der Automobilindustrie (VDA), Germany’s association for automotive manufacturers and suppliers. The result will be one common foundation for FMEAs across the global automotive sectors represented by AIAG and VDA.

The new (draft) AIAG FMEA Manual provides more direction and specificity as to how FMEAs are to be conducted. Rumors about the RPN going away are true; the RPN is being replaced by the AP or Action Priority. Here are some of the key changes that we highlighted in a blog post on

Thousands of people and hundreds of companies have trusted QualityTrainingPortal to learn and implement FMEAs and we will be there to guide you into the next phase of FMEAs. We have started working on series of new FMEA courses based on the proposed AIAG-VDA FMEA Alignment Handbook. While the changes can seem daunting, we are happy to report that everyday we get more comfortable with the draft version of the new handbook. In fact, many of the improvements in the Handbook have always been a part of how we teach companies to do FMEAs!

Plans for existing and future FMEA online training

  • Because these changes will only be required for the automotive sector, we plan to keep all of our existing “classic” FMEA courses active and available.
  • We will offer at least three new FMEA courses that are in line with the AIAG-VDA 2019 changes to FMEAs: AIAG-VDA Process FMEAs, AIAG-VDA Design FMEAs and AIAG-VDA FMEA-MSRs. These courses will not be available until after the final version of the 2019 AIAG-VDA FMEA Handbook is released.

AIAG-VDA FMEA Alignment Weekly Advisor

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In the meantime, we encourage you to subscribe to the AIAG-VDA FMEA Alignment Weekly Advisor. This newsletter is published through our sister site, We know that most people don’t have a day (or more realistically days) to sit down and digest the entire new handbook. But, if you give us 5-10 minutes a week, we will give you a succinct analysis of the key changes to the 2019 AIAG FMEA Manual in 12 easy to consume weekly issues.

Customizing FMEA Ranking Scales

The ranking scales (for severity, occurrence, and detection) are mission critical for the success of an FMEA.

  • They establish the basis for determining the risk of one failure mode and effect relative to another.
  • The same ranking scales for FMEAs should be used consistently throughout your organization. This will make it possible to compare the RPNs from different FMEAs to one another.

Ranking scales need to be customized so that they are relevant to your organization.

  • Your products and processes will be reflected in customized ranking scales.
  • Not only are customized ranking scales easier for FMEA Team members to relate to and use, but they make the ranking and ultimately the RPN more meaningful.
  • If your organization does both DFMEAs and PFMEAs, there should be a customized ranking scale for each type of FMEA.

The best way to customize a ranking scale is to start with a standard, generic scale and then modify it to be more meaningful to your organization.

  • As you add examples specific to your organization, consider adding several columns with each column focused on a topic.
  • One topic could provide descriptions of severity levels for operational failures, another column for customer satisfaction failures, and a third for environmental, health, and safety issues.

Tips to Make FMEAs More Effective

Customize the rating scales.

While industry guidelines suggest customizing generic ranking scales, they do not require it. However, by taking the time to add organization-specific examples of applications of the ranking definitions, FMEA teams will have an easier time applying the scales. The use of meaningful, relevant examples saves teams time and improves consistency of rankings from team to team.

Use the same (custom) ranking scales throughout the organization.

Once a custom set of ranking Scales are developed, use them for every FMEA study conducted in the organization. By using the same scales, the RPN for every failure mode and effect can be compared on a relative level and the highest potential risks for the organization can identified.

Add a Control Plan right to the FMEA Worksheet.

Control Plans ensure a system is in place to control the risks of the same failure modes identified in the FMEA. While Control Plans can be developed independently of FMEAs, it is time- and cost-effective to link Control Plans directly to FMEAs. The Control Plan describes how each potential failure mode will be controlled and how it should be reacted to if it (the failure mode) does occur. To add a control plan component to an FMEA, add “columns” to the FMEA Worksheet for the control factors, the specifications and tolerances, the measurement system, sample size, sample frequency, the control method, and the reaction plan.

Use a team approach.

A team will be able to generate a more comprehensive list of potential failures than any one individual could do. A team approach will lead to a richer and more accurate analysis of the risks associated with a process or design.

Generic Occurrence Rating Scale

This form should be used as a starting point to develop customized rating scales for your specific organization.

Generic Detection Rating Scale

This form should be used as a starting point to develop customized rating scales for your specific organization.

Generic Severity Rating Scale

This form should be used as a starting point to develop customized rating scales for your specific organization.

Process FMEA Scope Worksheet

Use this form to clarify and document the scope of your Process FMEA.

Design FMEA Scope Worksheet

Use this form to clarify and document the scope of your Design FMEA.

FMEA Team Start-Up Worksheet

Use this form to establish important ground rules for the FMEA team before starting the actual FMEA.

FMEA Team Start-up Worksheet

FMEA Analysis Worksheet

Because this form is so wide, we have split it into two graphics.

FMEA Analysis Worksheet

Left side of the FMEA Analysis Worksheet.

FMEA Analysis Worksheet

Right side of the FMEA Analysis Worksheet.