How Did RCM Principles Emerge?

How did RCM principles emerge?  This video explains it.

(Video Transcript)

Hi everyone. I know it’s noisy right now but that’s because I’m on an airplane that has turboprop engines. But, it reminds me about how Reliability Centered Maintenance principles first emerged.

You see, RCM principles are a gift and they were quite literally given to us by the commercial airline industry. And that story takes up back to the mid-1950s where, at that time, their philosophy was that equipment failure was directly related to operating age. And their maintenance plans at the time reflected that. They were very high in Scheduled Overhauls and very high in Scheduled Replacements.

Now time marched on and they found themselves in the early 1960s with new aircraft with more sophisticated, complex equipment like electronics, hydraulics, pneumatics, and turboprop engines and pressurized cabins.

So, they needed to make a maintenance plan for these new aircraft, so they basically took the old ones and mirrored them. And in the case where they had nothing to mirror, quite frankly, they took their best educated guess.

And they put those maintenance plans into service but what happened is that the crash rate increased. So, they realized they needed a new way of doing business.

They embarked on an enormous amount of empirical research. And what they found literally rocked the world of maintenance at the time because they identified that their philosophy was completely inconsistent with reality.

And that about 89% of Failure Modes occurred randomly. And 68% of those Failure Modes were affected by Infant Mortality. So, when they were doing Scheduled Overhauls and Scheduled Replacements, not only were they wasting their time in most cases, but they were re-introducing Infant Mortality and they were making things worse.

And that’s how RCM principles evolved because they figured they needed a new way of doing business. And so that’s how Reliability Centered Maintenance was born. And we’re about to celebrate RCM’s 40th anniversary and that will occur on December 29, 2018.

So, there you have it. Now we know that equipment failure, for the most part, fails randomly.

And in only a few cases is equipment failure directly related to operating age. I’m Nancy Regan. Thank you for watching.

Posted in

Nancy Regan

I started to help organizations gain an understanding of maintenance and reliability basics. After all, the basics pervade just about every asset management solution out there ~ and they’re embedded in Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM).

Leave a Comment