FMEAplus Akademie GmbH 
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D-89073 Ulm
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FMEA methodology

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  • What are the goals of the 7 steps of an FMEA?

    The Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA), a systematic and team-oriented analysis technique, has the basic objective of improving the quality, reliability and safety of products and processes so that time and costs can be reduced.

    But what are the goals of the individual steps of the FMEA?

    1. Planning/Preparation

    In this step, we would like to prepare qualitatively for the further FMEA analysis together with all participants and form a basis. For this purpose, we clarify the order during the first FMEA meeting on site with the help of an FMEA KickOff protocol. This means that every team member can understand the order and work in a goal-oriented manner.

    The FMEA KickOff protocol includes, among other things following question:

    • Definition FMEA Team (core – and supplement team)
    • Objective of the FMEA
    • Who is the FMEA client
    • Expectation of the client regarding the FMEA
    • Scope of the FMEA
    • FMEA software
    • Etc.

    Another goal of the preparation step is to reduce the workload so that the FMEA team can concentrate on the essentials. For this reason, a company-specific prioritization table should be created to prioritize the scope of consideration.

    2. Structure analysis


    In the structure analysis, the goal is to generate a graphic overview of the FMEA scope. To do this, we must first determine the scope and depth of the consideration so that we can analyze “as little as possible and as much as necessary”. The boundary diagram (D-FMEA) is a very suitable tool for this, which correctly determines the analysis limit and depth of the FMEA.

    The structure tree consists of system elements to be considered with at least three hierarchy levels so that the necessary error chains (effect-failure-cause) can be mapped later.

    3. Function analysis

    The main objectives of the functional analysis are, on the one hand, the representation of the functions in the correct hierarchical levels and thus the creation of a function trees that lead to an understanding of the product or process. On the other hand, this step also serves as the basis for failure analysis.

    • Shows the functions of the product in a structured way
    • Ensures that all functions are identified
    • Synchronizes the product knowledge of the team members

    4. Failure analysis

    In failure analysis, the main goal is to systematically derive the failures from the functional analysis at all levels. Furthermore, in this step we also evaluate the severity of the effects at the higher-level system level and build a complete failure network (effect failure cause).

    5. Risk analysis

    In the risk analysis, we want to document the current status of the measures, with the main objective of determining the actual risk and the measures priorities. In addition, the occurrence (A) of the cause and the discovery (E) of the same or their consequences are also evaluated in this step.

    The VDA / AIAG manual describes the main objectives of this step as follows:

    • Description and evaluation of existing and / or planned measures,
    • Allocation of existing and / or planned preventive measures to the failure causes,
    • Allocation of existing and / or planned detection measures to the failure causes and / or failure modes,
    • Evaluation of severity, occurence and detection for every failure chain,
    • Determination of the action priority,
    • Cooperation between customer and supplier (severity) and
    • Creation of a basis for optimization.

    6. Optimization

    If the risks are too high or if the AP assessment recommends further optimization, then further measures must be determined to reduce the risk. These must be set and followed up with those responsible and deadlines for the implementation of the measures. The new status of measures must also be reassessed at the cause.

    • Risk reduction
    • Risk at the end of the PDP
    • CIP

    7. Presentation of results (benefit)

    The task of the last step of the FMEA analysis is the comprehensible presentation of the results and the preparation of a decision proposal ("one pager"). Since the goal here is to inform the decision-makers about project risks. Depending on who the decision-maker is, the requirements for the presentation change accordingly.

    Since a central aspect of the FMEA presentation is the relief in product liability cases through the involvement of the management.

    • Overview for decision-maker
    • Basis for decisions
    • Documentation
  • When is the best time to start with the FMEA?

    The FMEA is a method for preventing failures and should therefore be started as early as possible. Only then is the benefit of an FMEA ensured. It is important to understand that an FMEA does not immediately consist of failures and measures. At the beginning of the product development process (PDP), various tasks arise, such as requirements analysis, concept development, product sketches, etc. In this phase of PDP, the structural analysis and functional analysis of the FMEA can and should be carried out in parallel in order to identify any weaknesses, gaps and questions at an early stage to show. An FMEA that is carried out too late and in which failures are discovered has the consequence that necessary changes to the product or process can lead to considerable costs. In addition, these kinds of late and time-sensitive changes mean more overtime and stress for many. So always consider FMEA in the project plan in good time.

  • Why do I confuse causes, failures and effects?

    Most of the time the question arises during an FMEA meeting. The participants disagree as to whether the failure just found is actually a failure mode or a cause or even an effect.

    If we assume that it is fundamentally clear to the FMEA participants how the cause and effect differ, the reason for the misunderstanding is the different point of view or focus of the individual. From your own point of view it is easy for everyone to decide what is the cause and what is the effect. But if everyone is now mentally in his own system, and these systems do not agree, everyone is right from his position, but will collide with the perception of the other.

    From this explanation of the problem, a very simple solution can be derived for FMEA practice.

    Make sure that there is a coordinated system, we call it a system structure. This structure now clearly represents the relationship between the various causal levels. With a uniform structure, it is now easy to determine both a cause and a effect direction from a common focus position. This means that there are no more discussions about the causal chain, effect - failure - cause.

    The functional analysis in the FMEA can also help to understand the effect chains in the product or process and thus unmistakably establish the connection between the failures of the different structural levels.

  • What does FMEA mean?


    FMEA means Failure Mode and Effects Analysis and aims to avoid failures from the outset instead of detecting and correcting them afterwards

General questions

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  • How long does it take to train an FMEA moderator?

    Up to 6 months should be planned for the training of a tried and tested FMEA moderator. A professional, steadfast moderator needs several years of experience in the profession.

    The training is divided into the following three main areas:

    1. Acquisition of methodological knowledge

    2. Development of competencies in the specific software application

    3. Promotion and deepening of one's own communication skills

    The future FMEA moderator will acquire these three main competencies in the context of targeted training and selected coaching measures.

    It is then recommended to attend professional FMEA moderations as an intern.

    The FMEA moderator will soon begin to moderate his FMEA projects in his own company. During this time it is advisable to further improve your skills through individual coaching carried out by professional FMEA moderators.

    Last but not least, there is the possibility to obtain the acquired qualifications in the form of a TÜV certificate as FMEA moderator after passing the exam.

  • What benefits does the FMEA give me?

    The general objectives of the FMEA are to improve the quality, reliability and safety of products and processes. The FMEA thus supports teams in the development and manufacturing of error-free products. In addition, with a correctly carried out FMEA you also fulfill your duty of care as part of the responsibility in the product development process.

    According to the AIAG / VDA methodology (automotive industry), the FMEA consists of 7 steps, whereby these steps can be summarized in 3 higher-level sections. The 3 sections each have their own benefit for those involved:

    System analysis section:

    The structural analysis and the functional analysis take place here for the specified scope. These interim results of an FMEA offer a quick, depending on the FMEA software, a graphic overview of the system to be analyzed in the form of a structure tree. The result of the functional analysis is the visualization of the functional relationships between the elements in the structure tree. By working together in a team, the knowledge between the team members is synchronized and a common understanding of the required and expected functions is achieved.

    Failure analysis and risk reduction section:

    On the basis of the functional analysis, potential failures are systematically derived, their effects and causes are analyzed, and safety measures are documented and evaluated. Here, too, the joint analysis in the team promotes knowledge of the failures relationships. An interim result is the determination of the current status at the time of the analysis. This enables the identification and prioritization of further necessary safeguarding measures, with the aim of ultimately developing or manufacturing an error-free product.

    Risk communication section:

    The communication of the results is aimed at the recipient of the information. For decision-makers, targeted communication offers a quick overview in order to free up the necessary resources for high-priority safety measures. For the team members and the team leader, there is an action plan that contains essential measures that might not have been defined or would have been defined too late without FMEA.

  • Are your prices with or without VAT?

    Since almost all of our customers are VAT deductible and we also receive many international inquiries, all of our prices are given net without VAT.


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  • What are the requirements for a qualified FMEA?


    The effectiveness of a qualified FMEA is a matter of top management conviction. This must be convinced that the FMEA is an important tool for producing and controlling quality. The support of the top management and management level is imperative so that, among other things, the following requirements can be met:

    • Create a clear basis,
    • Organize a competent project team,
    • With high professional level (possibly external support),
    • Equip project team with sufficient ressources,
    • Use change management and show benefits,
    • Communication through all levels.
  • Find appointments quickly together


    It is best to use dudle to coordinate appointments. (Is 100% GDPR compliant, simple, intuitive and safe)

  • Which browsers does BigBlueButton (web conferencing) work with?

    Working Browsers:

    • Firefox
    • Chrome
    • Current Edge (abfrom Jan.2020 with Chrome basis)
    • Android Moodle-APP


    Neither Internet Explorer (completely out of date) nor the old MS Edge support BBB.

  • What is BigBlueButton?

    BigBlueButton is a license-free video conference system that can be seamlessly integrated into Moodle events via the Meetings plug-in, as well as via direct access via Greenlight.
    The participants can hear and see each other and work with one another during use. Slides can be presented and queries can be carried out. A window in the user interface of your own computer can be made visible to others, for example to show the participants certain websites or applications. The event can also be recorded and made available to interested parties.
    BigBlueButton offers the following functions:

    • Audio and video conferences
    • Recording of the meetings
    • Screensharing
    • Common whiteboard
    • Break out rooms for team work
    • Chat
    • Surveys
  • Do you also offer your training courses as webinars, online presences or e-learning?


    Sure, we regularly offer live online lectures or face-to-face training.

    On request, we can also conduct almost all training courses, workshops and coachings online. In these training courses, supervised exercises can even be carried out in several groups.

FMEA team and roles

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  • How big should an FMEA team be?

    At the beginning of a project, the FMEA team is put together as part of the kick-off meeting and, depending on the complexity of the project, can include 10-15 people.

    In the further course, the team size of each FMEA meeting depends on the individual need for specialist skills. This ensures that the respective sections and topics of the FMEA can be processed effectively within the time frame.

    Experience shows that a team size of 3-5 people is optimal. It is an advantage if the other team members remain available for brief queries during the meetings.

    In the phase of implementation of the measures, it can happen that only one person documents and maintains the progress of the FMEA.