FRACAS is an important maintenance acronym that stands for Failure Reporting Analysis and Corrective Action System. It is a three-step process with the objective of achieving your asset reliability and maintenance goals by analyzing failure metrics and taking impactful corrective action.
The 3 Steps of FRACAS
While reporting is the first step of FRACAS, the first step of reporting is to collect thorough, accurate data. Digitizing your data collection through the use of Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) software is an excellent way to do so. Software allows your failure reporting to happen in real-time with access to your data on any device. Also, an EAM offers the added functionality of attaching photos to inspections and failure reports. So, when you’re pulling the information you need for failure reporting, you have precise data with a lot of detail. Making data collection as easy as possible with software also ensures that technicians don’t put off filling out forms until later in the day when the information isn’t as fresh in their minds.
With a solid foundation of failure reporting, your failure analysis should be relatively smooth. In this step, you review your data to identify trends. Failure analysis can cover a lot of different areas from analyzing work orders to root cause analysis. The goal is to identify trends that will become your area of focus for your corrective action in the final step. However, if your team doesn’t have a consistent system for recording failures, then it may be more difficult to spot trends. For example, if different technicians use different failure codes for the same thing, your data is spread out across several codes when it is all actually related. That’s why the biggest part of the work in FRACAS is in the data collection and reporting stage.
Now that you have identified a failure trend or a root cause, you can create a plan of corrective action. This phase is essential if you want your failure metrics to translate into impactful change. With continued FRACAS and establishing the right corrective action, you can decrease equipment downtime. If your corrective action plan doesn’t have the desired impact, begin the FRACAS loop again. Go back to your data or collect more data, re-analyze, and try to dig deeper into the root cause.
The Benefits of FRACAS
Long-term, FRACAS is an outstanding problem-solving process useful for many different assets and industries. It has many benefits, including:
- Decreases maintenance material, spare parts, and labor costs
- Reduces the need for rework
- Improves efficiency
- Lowers equipment downtime
- Increases equipment reliability and availability
- Overall improvement of performance and productivity
Check Your FRACAS Processes
Many companies already have some parts of the FRACAS process in place. This makes it much easier to implement. You’re most likely collecting data or generating reports. Or, you may be taking corrective action, but it’s not based on a deep analysis of your data. Each of the three steps is essential, and they depend on the step before for the most success. For example, if you’re struggling with analysis, then you may simply need more quantity or quality data. On the other hand, your corrective action may not be effective if your root cause analysis was too shallow. So, none of the three FRACAS steps can be discounted in their implementation.
One of the great outcomes of FRACAS is to pull value from failure. The data, analysis, and actions you take from FRACAS can even drive your preventive maintenance plan. While equipment failure is something everyone wants to avoid, we can still learn and grow from it using FRACAS.