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mounted sight mishapThis Root Cause Failure Analysis (RCFA) short course provides a comprehensive training experience in the key concepts and proven methods related to the identification and elimination of root failure causes occurring in complex systems, subsystems and components.

The course emphasizes the development and implementation of a failure analysis methodology for use throughout the organization. Participants will be armed with procedures and technologies for working through various types of systems failures through the use of Ishikawa diagrams, mind-mapping, and fault tree analysis for identifying potential failure causes. They will learn how to define potential root failure causes and develop evaluation plans by using hardware analysis, statistical analysis, experiment design, technical data package evaluation and other pertinent tools. The course presents corrective action alternatives and a framework for selecting optimal intermediate and longer-term corrective actions.

This intensive training program utilizes real-life case studies to help participants effectively apply the new toolkit to their jobs. At the end of the course, they will know how to identify dominant failure modes through quantity and cost-based Pareto analyses, identify the root causes of systems failures, select and implement effective corrective actions and work as an inter-organizational, multi-disciplinary failure analysis team.

  • Failure Analysis Philosophy
  • 4-Step Problem Solving
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Quality Measurement
  • Mind-Mapping
  • Ishikawa Diagrams
  • Fault Tree Analysis
  • Test & Inspection Data
  • Material Certifications
  • SPC Data
  • Flow Charts
  • Failed Hardware Analysis
  • Hardware Evaluations
  • Metallurgical Evaluations
  • Electronic Evaluations
  • Experiment Design
  • Design Modifications
  • Process Modifications
  • Component Failure Analysis
  • Leak Analysis
  • Significant Lessons Learned
  • Failure Prevention

Figure 10-4The Root Cause Failure Analysis (RCFA) short course is an intensive 2-day training program that provides a maximum training experience to aerospace professionals with minimum time away from work.

Day 1: Identification

The first day of the RCFA course teaches participants how to objectively identify potential root failure causes. Topics include:  failure analysis philosophy, the four-step problem solving approach, systems and component failure analyses, continuous improvement, quality measurement, brainstorming, mind-mapping, Ishikawa diagrams, fault tree analysis, test and inspection data, material certifications, SPC data, flow charts and failed hardware analysis. In addition, students will explore the relationship between logic operators and events, the usage and interpretation of fault tree gate, the usage of inhibit functions to model probability distributions, quantification of undesired events and the usage of fault trees to identify redundancy-defeating failure modes. Real world case studies will be explored, along with vital lessons-learned.

Figure 12-8Day 2: Evaluation

The second day of the RCFA short course provides participants with detailed instruction on how to objectively evaluate each of the hypothesized failure causes and proactively eliminate additional potential failure causes before they occur. Topics include: hardware evaluation (through microscopy, SEM, FTIR, EDAX, X-ray, N-ray, SIMS, Auger, and other analysis techniques) metallurgical and electronic evaluations, leaks, design of experiments approaches, corrective action alternatives (including design modifications, process modifications, requirements relaxation, screening and other corrective actions), and using the FMA&A to manage the failure analysis. The course includes numerous real world examples based on the instructor’s experience in a variety of industries, case studies and class exercises to solidify comprehension.

General Requirements

  • General process, industrial, manufacturing or engineering background.

Suggested WEA Preparatory Courses

  • There are no additional educational requirements for this course.

Joseph H. Berk Curriculum Vitae

Joseph H. Berk brings over 35 years of training, management and consulting experience in high-technology, engineering, and manufacturing organizations. His training repertoire includes courses on quality management, statistical applications in industrial environments, cost reduction, failure analysis and related topics. His students give him high marks for his course material mastery, his practical experience in the subject field and his teaching skills.

Joe’s work focuses on helping organizations improve their engineering, manufacturing, service, and process capabilities, with an emphasis on quality management, process improvement and failure analysis. His work in these areas has exposed him to a wide set of industries, including the US Department of Defense, power generation, electronics, electro-optical, aerospace, automotive, biomedical, marine, ordnance, consumer goods, water treatment and metal fabrication.

During his time spent in the industry, Joe developed quality management approaches based on his personal experience implementing improvements in many organizations. He is widely published in these areas and has written several books: Quality Management for the Technology Sector, Systems Failure Analysis, Cost Reduction and Optimization for Manufacturing and Industrial Companies and his most recent book, Unleashing Engineering Creativity.

Joe is a sought-after expert witness on process optimization, management, product assurance, statistics, cost estimation and failure analysis before the U.S. Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in mechanical engineering from Rutgers University and an MBA from Pepperdine University.

Currently, Joe serves as a faculty member at California State Polytechnic University’s College of Engineering and as the Principal Consultant at Manufacturing Training, an international consulting and training organization. Before starting his consulting practice, Joe held senior management positions in engineering manufacturing and quality assurance. His job experience has also included stints in operations, quality assurance and plant management. His long and diverse career brings a real-world dimension to his training and consulting engagements that his students appreciate.

Joe and his wife Susan live in southern California. They are the proud parents of two lovely daughters.

Schedule an On-Site Course

We provide on-site short courses for businesses and government organizations. Individuals who wish to attend a course should contact us here.

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