What is Root Cause Failure Analysis?

RCFA is a process that investigates how equipment failures, process problems, quality problems, safety incidents, environmental incidents, and other plant-related issues occur. RCFA (Root Cause Analysis) is another name for RCA.

What are the problems that RCFA can be used to solve?

It can be used for a wide range of issues, from equipment problems to safety/environmental incidents. This method of problem-solving can be applied across the entire organization.

What are some of the most popular names and methods for RCFAs?

Today, there are many methods and names. Let’s organize them all to give you a better idea of how to navigate the RCFA concept.

Watch our video series, “Root Cause and Thinking”, to learn more about the behaviors and thinking involved in RCFA.

  • RCFA methods, software, and names. The RCFA is often named by company names, documenting tools, or software names. Although each service provider has their own style, basic tools, and processes remain the same.
    • Other names: Root Cause Analysis (IDCON preferred name), Root Cause Problem Elimination
    • Software: Apollo TapRoot Sologic to name just a few
    • Documentation Tools: Fishbone Diagram, 5 Why, Cause and Effect, Pareto Diagram, Fault Tree, How-Can diagram, etc.
  • Documentation tools for RCFA. These documents are similar. The majority use some form of Cause-and Effect diagram. It may be a graph (top-to-bottom), or a flow chart (left-to-right). Different shapes and colors may also be used. In essence, all of them are the same. Some use a paper-based system, while others are managed by software.

Why is it important to understand RCFA?

RCFA is a structured, logical, and proven approach to determining the root cause of failure.

Rework and Scrap Rates Reduced

If something fails in your product or process, it is likely that the result will be a nonconformance resulting in rework and scrap. We minimize non-conformance by identifying, understanding, and addressing the cause of the failure.

Improve your financial bottom line

Each time we have a production stop or have to rework an item, we incur costs that have a negative impact on our financial performance. By conducting RCFA properly and diligently, we reduce the risk of a significant financial impact.