The cooperation of the German friction material manufacturers already started in the year 1947 as an autonomous group (Reibbelagausschuss RBA). In the year 1982 the friction material manufacturers have founded their own association, the VRI-Verband der Reibbelagindustrie e.V. The RBA has initiated in 1971 the foundation of the European Association FEMFM, Federation of European Manufacturers of Friction Materials.
The object of the Association is to the exclusion of any commercial pursuit:
to safeguard and promote the general and immaterial interests of the friction materials industry; to promote cooperation among the manufacturers of friction materials on an international level and to assure the quality standard of friction materials as an essential contribution to the road safety of vehicles in cooperation with national and international legislative and supervisory bodies; to participate in the development of standards for the protection of the environment and the employees at the working places in the competent committees as far as the friction material industry is involved, and to support the friction material industry in the fulfilment of the relevant legal requirements; to use, propagate and further develop the "Waren-Vertriebs-Artikel-Nummern-System" (WVA-Numbering-System). Members of the Association may be individuals or corporations and societies conducting friction material producing operations, provided they have their residence or place of business in Europe. Producers of friction materials in the sense of this Constitution are companies operating production units for the manufacture of friction material mixes and the processing of these friction material mixes into ready-to-use friction materials. Such manufacturers of friction materials must meet the following conditions:
- The company's managers in charge of production and quality assurance are not subordinated one to the other.
- Periodical friction coefficient tests are being performed for quality assurance purposes
- Product development includes friction coefficient tests on total linings.
- Periodical raw material inspections are performed using adequate test equipment.
- All friction linings produced are appropriately marked to identify the manufacturer.