Safe and Reliable: Weld Seam and FKM Verification According to Set Guidelines – Service and Software from a Single Source

In product development these days, nothing is left to chance. The capacity of a component to withstand loads can be calculated. Long before the first prototype is produced, deformations and stresses can be determined for all relevant load cases with the help of modern simulation methods.

Strength is usually verified in accordance with the so-called FKM guideline. The result: a load factor. If it is below 100 percent, taking into account the selected safety factor, the component is adequately dimensioned.

Background: Verifiably Loadable Machine Components Thanks to Computational Strength Verification in Accordance with the FKM Guideline

Simulations using the finite element method (FEM) provide information on the stress and deformation of a component.

On this basis, rough derivations are possible as to whether the component exceeds the permissible stress at corresponding points. However, many factors influencing the strength of a component remain unnoticed. These include:

  • Manufacturing influences, such as surface finish or strain hardening
  • Design and shape-related parameters, for example in the case of thin-walled structures or in relation to the effective diameter of axles and shafts
  • Material properties and material characteristics, for example with regard to plasticization or crack formation
  • Superposition and cyclic sequence of load cases

The Forschungskuratorium Maschinenbau e.V. (FKM) has defined the so-called "Computational Strength Analysis of Mechanical Engineering Components" (generally referred to as the "FKM Guideline") against this background. This uniformly structured calculation algorithm for evaluating strength and service life has established itself as a reliable standard in the German-speaking world and is subject to continuous further development.

Full-surface, visualized FKM verification with AutoFENA in just a few minutes

To perform the FKM verification, the use of computational programs is the obvious choice. It is true that failure-critical points can be identified with a great deal of engineering expertise. However, at the latest when superpositions and sequences of load cases occur, the verification and visualization of the strength become

  • complex,  
  • costly and
  • ultimately uncertain due to manual data input.

The FKM calculation program AutoFENA, developed by ihf Ingenieurgesellschaft, completes this process in just a few minutes.

The program uses the data from the FEM software (e.g. SIMULIA Abaqus) via an interface and thus offers an automated workflow through which any load case combinations can be analyzed and displayed without any problems. By feeding the results back into the FEM software, a 3D visualization of the degree of utilization over the entire surface of the examined component is created.

Do it yourself or outsource it? It depends.

Thanks to powerful and intuitive FKM calculation software such as AutoFENA, such verifications are easy to perform in standard cases. For more complex tasks, however, expert knowledge of the relevant guideline and project experience are required: This is because special permissible assumptions (including the assumption of plastic stain) can be used, for example, to exploit additional load-bearing reserves of a component.

In addition, we can of course support you in case of capacity bottlenecks or time pressure: our experienced simulation engineers deliver accurate and reliable results in a short time. We offer:

  • FKM verifications according to guideline (linear)
    • Static strength verifications
    • Fatigue strength verifications for cyclic loads
  • Weld seam verifications according to guideline

Why should you work with Wölfel and ihf?

Wölfel has successfully carried out hundreds of simulation projects itself over the past decades. Not only the customers who commission us to carry out FKM or weld seam verifications in compliance with the guidelines benefit from this experience, but also our customers in software sales: we ourselves know the programs we offer down to the last detail. And of course, Wölfel only sells software that our own simulation engineers personally recommend. In this way, we can provide you with optimal and transparent advice on software procurement and ensure first-class support. The supplier of AutoFENA, ihf Ingenieurgesellschaft, is not just any software developer, but is actively involved in the further development of the FKM guideline itself. This ensures that all changes are up-to-date and reliably incorporated into the program.

Contact us now if you want to achieve more efficiency, speed and safety in the FKM verification process and thus for your entire design processes.

Gain safety, minimize risk

Reduce effort (e.g. no manual selection of failure critical points)

Increase efficiency thanks to guided process between FEM and FKM software

Exploit material reserves

Static and cyclic verifications

Competent support and service with complementary know-how from ihf



I am happy to support you with numerical simulations and advise you on the development, optimization and automation of your simulation processes.

Dr.-Ing. Manuel Eckstein


Mechanical Engineering, TU Darmstadt

Acadamic Degree


Working at Wölfel

Mastering the variety of technical challenges together with our customers and with the Wölfel team through innovative solutions.