Managing the Consequences of Failure with RCM

(Video Transcript)

Hi Everyone. My mentor, John Moubray, taught me that the Essence of Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) is Managing the Consequences of Failure. Now, I had a really early lesson in this long before I ever knew what Reliability Centered Maintenance even was.

When I was 19 years old, I took flying lessons. And I took lessons in a two-seater single engine Grumman trainer. Now, one of the things my flight instructor, Russ, taught me was that, at all times while we were flying, I had to constantly be on the lookout for a landing place in case our single engine failed. Because if that engine failed, we’d have a lot on our hands just trying to get the airplane down safely.

So you see, when we talk about Managing the Consequences of Failure, we can do one of three things:

#1: We can accept them.
#2: We can decide not to engage in them.
#3: We can change the Consequences (e.g. installing a backup-up system)

So, I obviously decided that I was willing to accept the Consequences of the failure, and the way I managed that, was by making sure I knew where I would try to land safely if the engine did fail.

Now, as Responsible Custodians, that’s what we’re in the business of doing. We’re not in the business of predicting and preventing all Failure Modes because not all Failure Modes can be predicted or prevented.

So, it’s up to us to identify what can cause the Functional Failures that we identify for our equipment and then figure out what the Consequences are. From there, we can decide how to manage them. And managing them doesn’t always mean Proactive Maintenance.

So, there you have it. The Essence of Reliability Centered Maintenance is Managing the Consequences of Failure. I’m Nancy Regan. Thank you for watching.

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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).

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