July 18, 2008The 4th Edition FMEA manual from Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) has finally been released! If you're not sure what all the excitement is about, this article may provide insight into a useful tool. For those who have been awaiting its arrival like a child awaits school holidays, it's finally here! This article provides an overview of the manual--who it involves, its history, and the changes in the new revision.
What is the manual and who does it effect?
A popular misconception is that the FMEA (Failure Mode Effects Analysis) manual lists TS-16949 requirements for completing FMEAs for automotive parts. The FMEA manual is actually a recommendation resource for performing and documenting FMEA studies and, therefore, is appropriate for any industry! It was created merely to explain the purpose, strategy, implementation, and maintenance of the FMEA document as a value-added process for suppliers.
History of the AIAG FMEA manual
The FMEA methodology has been used for decades and is implemented under various aliases in nearly every industry. Within the automotive industry, Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors (often referred to as "The Big 3") had been requesting FMEA studies from their suppliers but with variations in their reference manuals which often made it difficult, confusing, and expensive for suppliers to comply. The Automotive Division of the American Society for Quality Control (ASQC) and the AIAG was chartered with standardizing the "reference manuals, procedures, reporting formats and technical nomenclature" (source: AIAG FMEA 4th Edition draft) used by The Big 3.
Over the years, both the manual and the FMEA format have evolved to include the Control Prevention column to differentiate beteen prevention and detection methods of control. However even since the 3rd Edition release in 2001, there remained many misunderstandings, resulting in improper and inconsistent use of the FMEA tool within the industry.
What's new in the 4th Edition?
The 4th Edition FMEA manual does not set out to revolutionize FMEA documentation. Instead, manual improves the everyday usefulness of both itself and of FMEA analysis as a value-added tool. Many of the changes in the manual provide clarification and insight for existing recommendations and assist suppliers in incorporating the document into their product's lifecycle. The FMEA 4th Edition manual is, therefore, quite useful from a practical point of view.
As a practical resource, the FMEA 4th Edition manual addresses many of the questions and challenges we all face in our FMEA analysis of our products and explicitly explains the intent of and flexibility within the guidelines to customize the FMEA analysis for a value-added experience. Compared with previous revisions, the 4th Edition offers a working definition of the deliverables and expectations of the FMEA analysis by identifying the times during a products lifecycle when the design and process FMEA analysis are recommended.
The changes in the FMEA 4th Edition manual make it a "must-have" for any engineering quick-reference library!
Our FMEA Assistant™ fully complies with the AIAG FMEA 4th Edition manual. In addition, our software provides the tools you need, as outlined in the FMEA manual, to make the FMEA study a value-added process for your company -- thereby reducing your costs and improving your products.