SAE International Creates Inaugural Standard for Design Review Based on Failure Modes

WARRENDALE, Pa., March 18, 2013 - SAE International has released the first standard for the quality improvement process known as Design Review Based on Failure Modes (DRBFM).

SAE International standard “J2886: Design Review Based on Failure Modes (DRBFM)” is now available for purchase.

DRBFM was developed by Toyota more than two decades ago as a way to improve the quality of its vehicles. Since then, it has been adopted by other automobile manufacturers and non-automotive companies.

DRBFM is best described as a quality culture with a foundation of an engineering mindset, according to Bill Haughey, the chairman of the SAE J2886 DRBFM Recommended Practice.  DRBFM is modeled after a linkage between a good design review and Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA). DRBFM is implemented following some type of change - design, test, process or supplier.

DRBFM makes these changes visible by discussing them in depth, identifying every potential failure that impacts quality, cost or delivery. The discussion is technical and supports engineers in making decisions relative to design, test and manufacturing, including the supply base.

“There is a growing demand for DRBFM information due to the interest of companies from multiple industries and the expectation of the global supply base to utilize the process as well,” Haughey said. “Companies tend to use slight variations of the process, which can cause complexity for suppliers that support multiple companies. Development of a recommended practice has been supported by users of DRBFM from both manufactures and suppliers. This standard will provide a common approach to the implementation of the methodology.”

DRBFM is a design review tool focused on engineering change and meant to uncover issues early in the development process. True resolution of the concerns is defined by engineering data.

“In other words, guilty until proven innocent,” Haughey said.

DRBFM is for those interested in:


- A proven, continuous improvement methodology, regardless of the industry;


- Supporting engineers in making technical decisions that meet both requirements and customer expectations; and


- Developing a company culture that establishes an organizational mindset that supports development of robust designs based on engineering knowledge.

SAE International offers DRBFM webinar trainings. For more information on the “Introduction to Design Review Based on Failure Modes (DRBFM)” Webinar, visit:

Also, SAE International is also offering three levels of DRBFM credentialing. For more information on the various levels of credentialing, visit

SAE International is a global association of more than 138,000 engineers and related technical experts in the aerospace, automotive and commercial-vehicle industries. SAE International's core competencies are life-long learning and voluntary consensus standards development. SAE International's charitable arm is the SAE Foundation, which supports many programs, including A World In Motion® and the Collegiate Design Series.


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