Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) Resource Center

Traditional (RPN) FMEAs

We use the phrase “Traditional (RPN) FMEAs” to refer to the way FMEAs have been conducted for over 70 years. A key distinction of these types of FMEAs is that the failure analysis process results in a Risk Priority Number or RPN that is used to prioritize failure modes for improvement and risk reduction efforts.

In 2019, the automotive industry revamped the FMEA process used in their global supply chain. We call these FMEAs AIAG-VDA FMEAs (AIAG and VDA are the American and German Automotive Industry Associations that spearheaded the task force that developed the new approach to FMEAs). A key change with the updated methodology is the elimination of the RPN. In its place are Action Priority Tables. Initially, this type of FMEA is only used in the automotive industry although we expect other industries will adopt the new process.

This section of the FMEA Resource Center, deals with the Traditional (RPN) FMEAs. If interested in the AIAG-VDA FMEA process,