[SystemSafety] FMEA draft international standard

Braband, Jens jens.braband at siemens.com
Wed Jul 16 19:39:12 CEST 2014

>From an application-oriented perspective there are some advantages in creating general as well as sector-specific standards, e. g.

- the customer or an authority or another standard asks to perform an FMEA
- so we need a definition what are the minimal requirements to do the job well. This could be written in a textbook, a guideline or a standard
- creation of standards often starts at IEC with a general standard, which gives the basic process and requirements
- but often this is not specific enough for the purpose, so automotive, military etc create their own standards, which in an ideal world would only be refinements of the general standard
- in a specific project the FMEA performed is usually tailored for the purpose but should be compliant with the standard

The problem I see often standardization committees is that while it would be normal to recruit the best (or at least some pretty good) experts in the field for the project team, often the team is only selected from the committee. When I was about 10 years ago project leader for the revision of IEC 61165 dealing with Markov techniques I invited some good and well known people in the field, and some of them, including Alessandro Birolini, Yoshinobo Sato and Ken Simpson, joined in, but some of them declined.

But I agree with Peter that there should be some minimal quality requirements and some competence management for standards development.

Best regards

Jens Braband

PS The opinion given here is my private, not necessarily that of my employer or other organizations that I represent. 

-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: systemsafety-bounces at lists.techfak.uni-bielefeld.de [mailto:systemsafety-bounces at lists.techfak.uni-bielefeld.de] Im Auftrag von Peter Bernard Ladkin
Gesendet: Mittwoch, 16. Juli 2014 13:32
An: systemsafety at lists.techfak.uni-bielefeld.de
Betreff: Re: [SystemSafety] FMEA draft international standard

On 2014-07-16 12:58 , Matthew Squair wrote:
> There's already standards released and available for FMEA, see the 
> SAE's J standard, and the venerable MIL-STD-1629. So why do we need 
> another? Before we go gaily skipping down the primrose path of 
> generating another  standard, perhaps someone could state clearly why these are inadequate and clearly define what the hoped for improvement is?

Each automobile company has its own internal standard, most of which are technically far more detailed than any of the public standards.

The point is scope. Ford's FMEA standard is for Ford. MIL-STD-1629 is for the US military. SAE is for automotive products. Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if the SAE standard is there simply because FMEA is named in FAR25.1309 as one of the three methods companies may use to show their products conform with the required risk limits (the two others being STs and RBDs).

If you want an FMEA in, say, a chemical plant, or a power plant, or a washing machine, then it is not covered by any of these. And if the IEC doesn't do it, ISO will, so there is some element of competition present (this is fact, BTW, not speculation).

Technical standards aren't necessarily for engineers. They are definitely for management, insurance companies and courts. They are important for product liability and for insurance purposes. They are used in litigation, mediation and arbitration like laws. Jens Braband has warned us about this, and I have actually been involved. It's no fun constructing arguments around something you know is inadequate or inappropriate.


Prof. Peter Bernard Ladkin, Faculty of Technology, University of Bielefeld, 33594 Bielefeld, Germany
Tel+msg +49 (0)521 880 7319  www.rvs.uni-bielefeld.de

The System Safety Mailing List
systemsafety at TechFak.Uni-Bielefeld.DE

More information about the systemsafety mailing list