About RCM

Learn About The Power Behind RCM

RCM is one of the most powerful maintenance and reliability improvement processes out there.  The name Reliability Centered Maintenance lends itself to a process that’s used to develop proactive maintenance for an asset – and it is.  But RCM can be used to formulate scores of solutions that reach far beyond maintenance.

RCM consists of seven steps:

Step 1:  Functions:  Record what the asset does (as opposed to what it is) including required standards of performance

Step 2:  Functional Failures:  Document the ways in which the asset can fail to fulfill its Functions

Step 3:  Failure Modes:  Identify what causes each Functional Failure

Step 4:  Failure Effects:  Detail what happens if nothing were done to predict or prevent each Failure Mode

Step 5:  Failure Consequences:  Determine how each Failure Mode matters.  That is, identify one of four Consequences:  Safety, Environmental, Operational, or Non-Operational

Step 6:  Proactive Maintenance and Intervals:  Analyze the Failure Mode to determine if a Scheduled Replacement, Scheduled Restoration, or a Condition Based Maintenance task is technically appropriate and worth doing

Step 7:  Default Strategies:  Here’s where we go far beyond maintenance.  When organizations take full advantage of RCM’s powerful principles, non-maintenance solutions can be identified including (but certainly not limited to) things like:  Equipment redesigns, new or modifications to operating procedures, updates or additions to technical publications, new or modifications to training programs, supply changes, and even troubleshooting procedures.  Solutions like these have provided tremendous benefits to organizations all over the world.

Still Have Questions?

At what point in an asset’s lifecycle should RCM be applied?

To maximize the benefits, RCM should be applied as early in the lifecycle as possible, beginning with the design stage. But, most RCM analyses are done…

What kinds of assets can RCM be applied to?

Air, sea, space, land, or underground? Commercial, government, or military? Reliability Centered Maintenance has something for everyone!

How long has RCM been around and who created it?

Reliability Centered Maintenance principles will be celebrating their golden anniversary soon. And you may be surprised where the process finds its roots!

Is RCM too difficult to implement?

Absolutely not. This is one of the biggest misconceptions of the RCM process. Discover why it is often wrongly believed that RCM is too difficult to implement.

Are RCM principles complex?

Eighteen years ago, at a small restaurant in Bath, England, a former head of the Royal Navy’s RCM program said something very poignant to me. It answers this question.

Are RCM, FMEA, FMECA, and CBM independent processes?

Do you ever mutter to yourself: “Reliability Centered Maintenance, FMEA, FMECA, and CBM? I’m so confused! Where do I even start?” If so, don’t skip this one!