Available TRIGO training courses according to new AIAG & VDA FMEA:

AIAG & VDA FMEA Handbook - Understanding the new methodology

What is FMEA?

FMEA stands for Failure Modes and Effects Analysis. Failure Modes means the ways/modes in which something might fail. Effects Analysis refers to studying the consequences of those failures.


The methodology was first developed by the U.S. Military in the late 1940s as a reliability evaluation technique to determine the effect of system and equipment failures. In the 1960s NASA used design FMEAs in the Apollo moon landing program. Failures were classified according to their impact on mission success and personnel/equipment safety.


Today, FMEA is a tool that relies on the knowledge and experience of our employees in assessing risk. Whether we have just designed a new product or manufacturing process, we need to assess it for potential risk effects:

1.       What could go wrong?

2.       What would the effect be on us, the customer, or the end-user?

3.       What could cause it?

4.       What controls do we have in place to make sure it doesn’t happen?

5.       How confident are we that we have protected everyone?


These critical questions fall under the umbrella of risk – what we deal with every single day in business and in life.


Why the New FMEA Handbook?

The AIAG & VDA FMEA Handbook, 1st Edition is officially here as of June 3, 2019. It is the completion of a three-year project in publishing an international guide on Failure Mode and Effects Analysis that combines two major references in the automotive industry: North America’s Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) and the Verband der Automobilindustrie (VDA), Germany’s association for automotive manufacturers and suppliers. 


As stated in the Handbook itself, “The industry is challenged by increasing quality demands of the customer, the necessary cost optimization of the products and processes, and the higher complexity, as well as the product liability of the designer and manufacturer by legislation.”


As FMEA is the most commonly used risk analysis method in the automotive industry, the manual focuses on the technical aspects of risk, helping suppliers predict and prevent failures in their product development and part production processes. The new Handbook aims to provide consistent direction to all automotive suppliers, including real-world best practices.


What are the Most Important Changes?

The most noticeable change in the AIAG & VDA FMEA Handbook is a new 7-Step approach for FMEA development, which provides a framework for documenting technical risks. With this new framework, product design and process risk become more transparent and can be anticipated, calibrated and managed in a comprehensive manner.


The 7-Step Approach: 

  1. Planning & Preparation
  2. Structure Analysis
  3. Function Analysis
  4. Failure Analysis
  5. Risk Analysis
  6. Optimization
  7. Results Documentation 


Further changes include:

  • A new chapter on Supplemental FMEA for Monitoring and System Response (FMEA-MSR)
  • Revised Severity, Occurrence and Detection Rating Tables
  • An Action Priority (AP) methodology to replace RPN
  • New Form Sheets (spreadsheet users) and Software Report Views (software users)
  • Highlights from both the AIAG 4th Edition FMEA Manual and the VDA Volume 4 FMEA Manual


Who is Impacted?

All suppliers working according to the AIAG & VDA guidelines per their customer expectations are impacted.


When and How to Make Transition?

The requirements for implementing the new AIAG & VDA FMEA are being rolled out gradually. Currently, there are no expectations to update FMEAs right away. However, implementation is to be expected over time as the customer determines the need to utilize the new format. There is a substantial value in preparing for the new changes.


Here is TRIGO’s recommended transition scenario:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the new standard
  2. Develop gap analysis to identify your training requirements
  3. Provide training for all affected parties
  4. Update gap analysis and develop an implementation plan
  5. Implement a new FMEA pilot project
  6. Standardize business processes to the new FMEA standard
  7. Adopt continuous improvement approaches to make your new FMEAs a living document


AIAG & VDA FMEA Training & Consulting Options

TRIGO’s AIAG & VDA FMEA Transition and Implementation courses will provide you with the in-depth knowledge needed to effectively apply the new standard when your customer deems it required.


Public seminars are being scheduled in key cities around the world, offering a cost-effective way for smaller companies to fulfill their training needs. Onsite workshops, designed for larger groups, are customized to apply the new methodologies to your very own products and manufacturing processes.


Robert W. Muir

Global Training Director, TRIGO Group



Available TRIGO training courses according to new AIAG & VDA FMEA:

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Robert W. MUIR

Robert W. MUIR

Director, Global Training Services

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