Reliability Centred Maintenance (RCM) is a logical information-gathering and decision-making
process that is applied by a small group of people who have equipment knowledge and
engineering common sense.
RCM determines the best possible maintenance schedule for your equipment optimised
according to the operating conditions on site. RCM can do this because the entire
process accommodates the following factors:
- the overall environment and background conditions in which you are using your equipment
(i.e. its “operating context”)
- what you want your equipment to do for you in respect of safety, the environment,
output, product quality and customer service (i.e. its functions)
- how much it matters when your equipment fails (i.e. the failure consequences).
When you apply RCM to your equipment, you will produce a maintenance schedule which
contains only the tasks necessary to keep the equipment performing to your desired
functions, in your operating context and which is focused on eliminating, avoiding
or reducing the consequences of failure.
This means that you can be confident that money from your maintenance budget is being
spent where it does the most good to achieve inherent equipment reliability and availability.
By targeting maintenance spend according to the consequences of failure and what
you want the equipment to do, the following happens:
- undesirable consequences of failure are either eliminated, avoided or reduced (i.e.
equipment failures are much less likely to be “show stoppers”)
- the equipment breaks down far less often (ie MTBF increases)
- when a failure does occur, the operator and maintainers are much more likely to be
able to deal with it (i.e. downtime is reduced).
Comparing your new maintenance schedule with the old one:
- there are far fewer maintenance man-hours - RCM removes any “tradition & practice”
and “excess baggage” from the old schedule which are a common feature in supplier-based
- tasks are focused on monitoring equipment performance - you’re now predicting failures
rather than waiting for them to happen
- there are far fewer overhaul type tasks - avoiding strip-downs and the resulting
struggle to get the equipment working again afterwards
- spare part consumption is likely to reduce.
And there’s more:
- maintenance and operating staff now work enthusiastically together - no more “them
- all the scheduled maintenance is actually done - not just signed off as done
- everyone involved in the RCM process knows and understands more about the equipment
- you now have a valuable technical document for the equipment listing what it should
do, all likely failures, all maintenance tasks with full justification for each of
them and an easy-to-use fault-finding guide - this information is often used to support
a safety case
- the maintenance schedule can be readily revised in the future as the operating context
In a nutshell, if you apply RCM correctly there are massive gains to be made by achieving
inherent equipment reliability and availability in your organisation across the spectrum
of equipment safety, environmental integrity, output, product quality. Furthermore,
improvements are more likely to endure as a result of the combined involvement of
operations and maintenance personnel.
Want To Know More?
There is a much more detailed description of Reliability Centred Maintenance available
on our detailed RCM page or open our RCM eBrochure.
Or, get in touch with us now using our enquiry page.