FRACAS Overview and Process Definition: from Root Cause to Corrective Action
A Problem / Failure Reporting, Analysis and Corrective Action System (FRACAS) is a procedure by which testing and process anomalies as well as any failure or noted deviation from standards, the cause and corrective action are reported, properly investigated and documented. Both the user and the supplier work together to collect, record and analyze failures of both hardware and software data sets.
FRACAS systems promote reliability activities improvement throughout the product life cycle. The system can be used during in-house testing, field tests and production to determine where the problems are concentrated.
FRACAS has been implemented and used extensively in the military, aviation, automobile and telecommunication industries. A FRACAS procedure is recognized as one of the most valuable tools for producing reliable products and systems. As it is always better to prevent problems, it is vital in identifying and correcting reliability problems as they occur, preferably before the product is released to the customer.
Failure analysis techniques represent a critical step in the determination of root causes of failure. Once the root cause is identified, a design or a process improvement can be easily achieved from the resulting information. Specialized techniques and/or equipment may sometimes be required to pinpoint an exact root failure cause. Once the root failure cause is found, it can be eliminated by implementing an appropriate corrective action.