Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA)

Do you want to keep your technical risks from the design phase right through to production well under control? How do you implement an efficient risk management system?

Various methods are implemented to analyze technical risks during product development cycles. Failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) is one of the most common methods of technical risk management. It has proved to be an effective tool for preventing errors during the development of new products. FMEA aims at diagnosing such errors, thus enabling fault-free products to be developed and manufactured.

Fraunhofer IPA has more than 25 years of experience in applying FMEA. It has implemented this method in over 400 risk analysis projects in numerous branches of industry. Over this time, we have further developed the method and application of FMEA for different cases: On the one hand, we have added the scope of delivery of complex products to FMEA controlling. We have also adapted the Failure Process Matrix (FPM) to assembly processes and also verify machine availability (CDA-FMEA) for the machinery and equipment industry.  When it comes to mechatronic systems, we derive software requirements with the aid of IPA Mechatronic FMEA.


  • Assistance with setting up a complete and seamless technical risk management system,
  • Support in conducting technical risk analyses with FMEA (IQ-FMEA),
  • Assistance with implementing FMEA in your company,
  • FMEA training courses and coaching for FMEA moderators,
  • Help with implementing FMEA controlling for suppliers to ensure the fault-free development of complex products.

FMEA for machinery and equipment

Is the classic FMEA not adapted to your needs when you develop machinery and equipment? Does it give you any information about machine availability?

For this reason, Fraunhofer IPA has developed the combined design and availability FMEA (CDA-FMEA). This is used to analyze constructional weaknesses as well as factors hindering availability. Analysis results give bottom-up information about inherent system availability and also identify weaknesses related to availability. On the basis of the analysis results, targeted measures can then be ascertained to improve reliability, determine suitable maintenance requirements and intervals, aid failure diagnosis, define spare parts requirements and also facilitate the repair of machines. CDA-FMEA can also be used to assess the effects of machine availability on future manufacturing systems.

Fraunhofer IPA consulting services

  • Technical risk analyses of machines with the aid of CDA-FMEA in the development phase as well as in the early phase of usage
  • Prediction of inherent machine availability in the development and early usage phases.

Life cycle costing

Do you only plan your machine investments on the basis of purchasing costs? Do you want to base your investment decisions on better information?

In the long term, it is not just the purchasing price of a machine that counts but also the consideration of costs over the complete life cycle. Life cycle costing models (e.g. VDMA 34160, VDI 2884 as well as Total Cost of Ownership concepts (TCO) used by automobile manufacturers) enable these costs to be identified and bundled. However, these models cannot be used to ascertain cost factors from the bottom up when a product is still under development. Fraunhofer IPA helps you adapt TCO models to your product requirements. This includes elaborating a method in the development phase of investment goods to systematically determine the various costs factors, such as component failure rates, costs for predictive and corrective maintenance, energy costs and lost profits.

We help you

  • Derive product-specific life cycle costing models (LCC),
  • Develop methods to determine influencing factors from the bottom up, in particular reliability / availability estimates at component level as well as aggregation at system level,
  • Implement a methodology toolbox in business units responsible for product development.