Failure Reporting, Analysis and Corrective Action System (FRACAS)

Failure Reporting, Analysis and Corrective Action System (FRACAS)


A Failure Reporting, Analysis and Corrective Action System (FRACAS) is one of the most
critical elements in the development, implementation, operation and maintenance process through which the reliability of a system, including hardware and software, can be continually improved. Despite efforts to discover potential failure modes early in the design cycle and prevent their manifestation, unanticipated failures do occur. These failure modes may have eluded discovery during early design analysis, or corrective action may have been partially, or even completely, ineffective. To reduce the risk of such failures escaping into fielded product, it is imperative to follow a structured approach with respect to failure documentation, root cause analysis, and corrective action development, implementation and verification. This structured approach is referred to as a FRACAS.

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Product Description

The series name has a double meaning:

(1) the spelling of the name r-e-l-e-a-s-e indicates that the series is intended to “release“ the non-expert down the path to reliable products and
(2) the complementary terms “REL” with “ease”, implying the series goal of “reliability made easy.”

Of course, reliability success is seldom easy, requiring expertise and tailoring with tradeoffs addressing life-cycle costs and other issues, but we hope that the series will help those not familiar with reliability practices understand the basics.

While it is unlikely that the reader will become an instant expert in reliability by reading the RELease guides, it is likely that he/she will gain a better appreciation of the basic tools that lead to designing and building reliability into products and systems. The number of pages in each guide is intentionally limited to address only the basics, with comprehensive authoritative references listed for those wanting to know more. The initial set of guides will be continuously expanded in the future. Please let us know how the series can be improved to meet your needs in introducing reliability to the non-expert, or suggest other topics you would like to see developed.

Additional information

File Type:



Richard Wisniewski





Publication Date:

July 2013

Table of Contents

1. What is FRACAS       2
2. FRACAS Terminology       5
  2.1. FRACAS Implementation Considerations     7
3. The Process       7
  3.1. Preliminaries     7
  3.2. How to Implement a FRACAS     9
  3.3. FRACAS Process Flow     18
  3.4. Tailoring the Process     20
4. The Details       23
5. Example       26
6. For More Information       29