AIAG-VDA FMEA Problems and Solutions

by Jonathan Hunt published on December 03, 2019

The AIAG-VDA FMEA Seven Step process represents positive movement forward for the automotive industry. Global organizations with customers in Germany and USA are well served by the AIAG-VDA FMEA since this format can help them satisfy their global customers. This was the major benefit sought by the joint AIAG and VDA writing committee when they contemplated the joint FMEA handbook. The AIAG-VDA FMEA Seven Step approach with the “structure analysis” can be used to help implement the “Engineering V” required by the new E-car and Autonomous car standards such as Functional Safety (ISO 26262), Automotive SPICE, SOTIF (ISO/PAS 21448) and Cybersecurity (SAE J3061, ISO/SAE 21434:2019). However, getting this benefit is not immediate unless the FMEA adherent uses “functions and requirements” in the function analysis, Step 3. Common practice in the VDA approach is to only use a function. Also, to be able to link requirements to test plans, the DFMEA needs to be used to generate the DVP&R or test plans. This step is not there in the AIAG-VDA DFMEA currently.

The biggest issue that the FMEA community faces is that the current AIAG-VDA FMEA handbook represents the failure cause as always being assigned to a lower level element. This is the VDA approach of linking the failure cause of the failure to a lower level element representing the constituent parts of the focus element being investigated. The handbook says – “the failure causes can be derived from the failure modes of the next lower level function and requirement…” and again “Consequently, a failure cause at the OEM becomes a failure mode at the next (tier one) level.” There are differing approaches between the Americans and the German FMEA methods. As Greg Gruska, one of the writers of the AIAG 4th edition and a co-presenter in the webinar says, “the focus of the AIAG 4th edition was the current design process and not the suppliers’ design.” How can this be handled in the new seven step approach?

Omnex remains supportive and enthusiastic of the AIAG-VDA FMEA and believes that there is a large ROI possible in adopting this approach but the devil is in the details. In case you missed this interesting webinar “AIAG-VDA FMEA Problems and Solutions” presented by Chad Kymal, CTO and Founder, and Greg Gruska, AIAG 4th edition FMEA writer.


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