Reliability Centered Maintenance RCM

You’ve landed on this page because you want to know what Reliability Centered Maintenance RCM is and if it can benefit your facility.  The answer to your second question is an absolute YES.  The first question takes a little more time.

Reliability Centered Maintenance Principles

You’ve most likely been asked to research Reliability Centered Maintenance principles to gain a better understanding of its use and benefit.  Here are a series of positions that you should answer honestly ‘yes’ to if Reliability Centered Maintenance RCM is going to be right for you:

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

If you answered ‘yes’ to these seven situational positions, or a majority of them, then Reliability Centered Maintenance principles may be the right direction for you.

The Big Three

Boiling it down to the ‘big three’ universally accepted methodologies for development a maintenance strategy for your equipment, each has a core targeted purpose:

  • Failure Modes and Effects Analysis – FMEA, is generally a practice used for a ‘green field’ or a new facility. For example, building a new building on a vacant lot, and installing all new equipment.  This is a ‘green field’ in that you start, literally, with a green field.  In FMEA, you would consider everything that could possibly go wrong with everything.  That gets boiled down to priorities using the Risk Priority Number (RPN) and further clarified, if desired, through FMECA – adding in ‘criticality’.
  • Reliability Centered Maintenance principles, are generally a practice used for a ‘white paper’ or a new piece of equipment project. For example, you are going to design, build, and install a new asset (press, conveyor, 747 airplane).  You are literally starting with a blank sheet of ‘white paper’ – thus the ‘white paper reference.  In Reliability Centered Maintenance RCM, you would consider everything that could possibly go wrong with this new machine.
  • Preventive Maintenance Optimization PMO – often referred to simply as PMO, is generally a practice used for an existing plant or facility, with existing equipment, that has a history of failures and an established PM program (for better or worse). The major focus for Preventive Maintenance Optimization process is to eliminate all the failures we’ve had in the past, and then concentrate on what else could possibly go wrong (see FMEA, FMECA, RCM). 

It's not for the faint of heart

For the practical improvement of critical plant assets, a Reliability Centered Maintenance principles approach is a solid approach.  Be warned, it is not for the faint of heart, or the weak of spirit.  There is a lot of soul-searching, and hard answers to find.  But, the results of a small team, working for Constancy of Purpose (Demings) towards a critical goal is a morale boosting, celebratory event you cannot overestimate.  This is a highly effective approach.  The next airplane or car you ride in was designed with Reliability Centered Maintenance 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.

Reliability Centered Maintenance RCM is typically handled as a workshop.  After some training to align our thinking, we are going to get to work on:

  • Creating an asset registry, if one already exists, we’ll updated as needed
  • Selecting a single asset to start
  • Forming, chartering, and training a small Reliability Centered Maintenance 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?

During a successful Reliability Centered Maintenance RCM workshop, it is virtually impossible not to include a frank and open conversation about storeroom support for the assets.  That discussion should be welcomed and expected.

Maintenance Innovators, Inc. has decades of successful Reliability Centered Maintenance principles workshops.  This is a very high level of maintenance strategy development

Call or email now and let us work with you as a valued partner to conduct Reliability Centered Maintenance RCM workshops that deliver the much needed guarding of your asset’s inherent reliability.  The results of your RCM should set the standard for asset care strategy development at your facility.  Let’s get that done!  Your first step is a call away