Reliability Centered Maintenance RCM For Physical Assets

Reliability Centered Maintenance RCM is not a quick or easy process, but it is absolutely necessary for optimal production.

Reliability Centered Maintenance RCM is not for the faint of heart. There is a lot of soul-searching, and hard answers to find. But this is a highly effective approach. The next airplane or car you ride in was designed with RCM principles.  The next “fill in the blank” that you use or manipulate was most certainly designed and built with Reliability Centered Maintenance principles at play. This is a powerful tool.


What is Reliability Centered Maintenance RCM?

RCM is system function-based and is generally applied on a component basis. Rather than simply replacing components on a set schedule regardless of their condition, RCM identifies those that affect equipment function. This allows maintenance crews to focus on avoiding the consequences of the failure of those components, ensuring that plant operations can continue unabated. 


Will RCM Work For My Organization?

If you are working in the maintenance and reliability space, you may have heard about this methodology and wondered if it can benefit your operation. How many of these statements are true for your business?

  • Our current Preventive Maintenance (PM) program and practice do not follow a standard methodology or universal standard.
  • Our PM tasks were created haphazardly, most likely by maintenance supervisors or planners, using the OEM’s (Original Equipment Manufacturer) recommendations as a guideline.
  • The components we are performing PM on are the same components that are failing.
  • Our storeroom does not always have the part we need when we need it.
  • We can’t seem to get all of our PM tasks done, usually because production won’t give us the equipment or our technicians keep getting pulled away for ‘emergencies.’
  • Our PM activities are not a core value driver of our business and are not seen as value-added by production.
  • The ‘maintenance’ of equipment at our facility is seen as the sole function of the maintenance department


If all or most of these things are true for your operation, then RCM is likely the right direction for you. This approach is ideal for the practical improvement of critical plant assets, or when planning for the installation of a new piece of equipment. At Maintenance Innovators, Inc. we have spent decades helping businesses implement this practice by means of our workshops and consulting efforts.


Implementing RCM 

Implementing Reliability Centered Maintenance RCM involves looking at all the various ways equipment can fail, identifying what causes the failure, and working to find ways to minimize its effects or eliminate the potential entirely. If this sounds like an overwhelming undertaking, you’re not wrong. RCM is not a quick or easy process, but it is absolutely necessary for optimal production.


At Maintenance Innovators, Inc. we will guide you to excellence in your RCM practice. RCM is typically handled as a workshop. After some training to align our thinking, we will work on:


  • Creating an asset registry (if one already exists, we’ll update as needed)
  • Selecting a single asset to start with
  • Forming, chartering, and training a small RCM team of associates who would normally have responsibilities around that asset.
  • Creating a process map of the asset.
  • Systematically answering all seven of the Reliability Centered Maintenance questions:
    • What are the functions required of the asset?
    • In what ways can it fail?
    • What are the causes of failure?
    • What happens when each failure occurs?
    • How does each failure matter?
    • What can be done to prevent each failure?
    • What should be done if a failure (or its consequence) cannot be prevented through maintenance?


A successful RCM workshop nearly always includes a frank and open conversation about storeroom support for the assets as well. 


Maintenance Innovators, Inc.’s RCM workshop not only provides the high-level maintenance strategy development your company needs to be successful using RCM but can also be a big morale builder for your maintenance staff. 


We are eager to work with you as a valued partner to conduct Reliability Centered Maintenance RCM workshops that deliver the critical guarding of your asset’s inherent reliability. The results of your RCM should set the standard for asset care strategy development at your facility. Click here or call (913) 633-4009 today!


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