The IQ-Software instantiates the foundation for building our FMEAs, according to five basic steps as defined in the instructions of the VDA 96, Volume 4.2.  Following these steps gives your FMEA the structure required to ensure a thorough analysis with no opportunity for confusing failure modes for causes or effects.  Furthermore, the 5-Step process gives you and your customers the confidence that your analysis is robust!

Build Customer Confidence with Structure

  1. System Elements and System Structure: The product or process that is to be fundamentally analyzed with an FMEA is decomposed into its parts. In the case of a product analysis, these parts are the component groups and the single components of the product. Similarly, in the case of a process analysis, the parts are the process steps and the influencing factors of the process steps.  These parts are connected to one another in a graphically-based, hierarchical, tree-structure (not like file folders) way that lays the foundation for the functional data model which serves as the core to the FMEA.
  2. Functions and Function Structures (Function Nets): Every part of the product or of the process has a purpose. It exists because it must fulfill requirements such that the product can work properly or that the process operates as intended. These requirements are fulfilled by functions (or characteristics) in this step of the analysis.  Each element of the structure is independently populated with the functions that define it.  Naturally, these functions now have a context that has been provided by the system structure model created in Step 1.  They can now be connected in a net, accordingly.
  3. Failure Analysis: When a part of the product or of the process deviates from the function in a significant way (or fails to perform it completely), failures are generated. These failures are, of course, assigned to the relevant function.  Subsequently, and in the same fashion as the function nets, the cause and effect relationship between these failures is defined.
  4. Risk Evaluation: Every failure cause represents a risk of the product or of the process. The severity of this risk depends on three factors:
    1. The probability of a failure cause occurring in spite of existing preventive actions (if such actions exist). This is rated in the “Occurrence” category and according to a standard scale between 1 and 10.
    2. The probability of a failure cause being detected with the application of appropriate detection actions. This is rated in the “Detection” category, also between 1 and 10.
    3. The severity of the failure effects to which the failure cause will lead (via a failure mode). This is rated in the “Severity” category in the range between 1 and 10.

On the basis of these three factors an evaluation of the risk of each failure cause of the product or of the process can be assessed.

  1. Optimization: If the risk that can be generated from a failure cause has been determined as too high, new actions for the reduction or elimination of this risk must be defined and implemented. These implemented actions either reduce (or eliminate) the likelihood of the failure mode occurring or improve the ability to detect it.


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