FRACAS as a process and a defined closed-loop activity originates from the defense, aircraft and aerospace industries with high level of performance and reliability requirements. Recording and analysis of failures has been performed manually and involved gathering and processing of thousands of forms. The clear benefits of the collection of failure data made FRACAS an excellent candidate for computerization of the process back in 1970s.
In-house FRACAS Development
Since late 1970s and through 1980s all major players in defense, aircraft, aerospace and telecommunication worldwide invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in development and support of FRACAS, failure reporting and failure analysis in-house software. These in-house applications tended to be "a never-ending story" requiring immense resources both for the development and for the support of FRACAS systems while the outcomes and benefits were often not articulated clearly. Many of company core team members have been involved in creation of such in-house FRACAS applications and knew only too well the pitfalls of these data collections - a fact that helped them to utilize their gained knowledge for the creation of later generations of failure analysis software.
First Off-the-shelf FRACAS applications
In 1995 ALD Software's mother company, ALD Reliability and Safety Solutions was the first to develop and successfully sell worldwide an off-the-shelf FRACAS software - the costs of development and support were dramatically reduced while the failure analysis knowledge and methodology developed in the previous decade made for the analytical basis of the first off-the-shelf versions. Warmly greeted by automotive, telecommunication and smaller companies these packages had one significant flaw: the adaptation of these off-the-shelf packages to the processes and terminology of a specific company required customization i.e. additional programming. We had to bitterly agree that our dream of a totally off-the-shelf "small" FRACAS package has to be abandoned.
Web-based Dynamic FRACAS
Only in 1999 with the development of Internet and corresponding technology, the idea of the current FavoWeb product has crystallized. The web-based dynamic off-the shelf FRACAS software had the following three necessary capabilities required to turn disorganized data collection in reliability influencing events into a systematic FRACAS:
- Ability to accumulate failure data cross-organization world-wide
- Off-the-shelf built-in failure reporting, corrective action and trending mechanisms
- Flexibility allowing for the adoption of the off-the-shelf FRACAS to the needs and processes of an organization without a need for re-programming.
FRACAS FavoWeb has all three capabilities. We envision future development of our product in the direction of simplifying the input of data and enriching of the analytical arsenal of the tool.