Proactive vs Reactive Maintenance

(Video Transcript)

Hi everyone.  I’m in Boston, Massachusetts.  I’m here to visit my sister.  This is where I was born and raised.  And I thought I’d go out for a walk and I happened upon Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market.  A little bit of history about Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market is that it was home to merchants and fishermen.

And Faneuil Hall was built by Peter Faneuil in 1742 and he built it as a gift to the citizens of Boston.  Faneuil Hall became a famous place for speakers.  And Samuel Adams spoke there trying to rally the residents for the cause of independence from Great Britain.

And this reminds me about Reliability Centered Maintenance because a lot of organizations – still today – are living in Reactive Mode.  They’re running from fire-to-fire because oftentimes, it’s not easy to slow down and get proactive.

But if we want independence from being at the mercy of our equipment, with all of these reactive failures going on, we need to slow down and take the time.

And one of the ways we can do that is with Reliability Centered Maintenance.  Faneuil Hall is over 250 years old.  And RCM isn’t quite as old as that, but its principles are over 50 years old.  And the reason why it has stood the test of time and human meddling is because it is a solid, common sense process that you can use to get the kind of Reliability that you want out of your equipment.  One of the reasons for chronic failure is that…a better understanding of equipment is often needed.

Although you can use Reliability Centered Maintenance to come up with an optimized maintenance program, the more I help organizations implement Reliability Centered Maintenance, the more I come to know that one of the greatest benefits of RCM is that an organization starts to really understand the equipment and how it works.  And the way that’s done is two-fold.

The best way to employ Reliability Centered Maintenance is with a Facilitated Working Group approach.  That is, you have various people – various disciplines represented – like Operations and Maintenance, and Engineering.  Because after all, there isn’t one human being, in nearly all cases, that knows everything about a piece of equipment.  So, you get a whole lot of different perspectives represented when you do RCM that way.

The other thing is, part of the RCM process is doing an FMEA, a Failure Modes and Effects Analysis.  And just by the very nature of doing a FMEA…you have to write Functions and Functional Failures and Failure Modes and Failure Effects.  And when you do that, you really dig down deep and you figure out and you document exactly what you need from your equipment, what causes it to fail, what happens when it fails, and then step 5 is Consequences…figuring out how each one of those Failure Causes even matters.

But usually, just by doing an FMEA, a lot of times an organization will figure out some of the things that are causing the chronic failure.  And it could be as simple as the equipment isn’t being operated properly.  And not because of anyone’s fault, but maybe because there’s a step left out of an Operating Procedure or maybe it’s vague.  Or maybe something needs to be added to it.

Another thing is, maybe you decide to program the PLC, the Programmable Logic Controller.  Maybe program it so the organization can be alerted sooner about an impending failure.  So, there are all kinds of things that can result from RCM that don’t have anything to do with Proactive Maintenance.

So, there you have it.  If you’re looking for independence from your own equipment – you want to get out of reactive mode, and you want to figure out the actions you can take to get the kind of Reliability you need, then Reliability Centered Maintenance is an excellent step in the right direction.  I’m Nancy Regan from Boston, Massachusetts.  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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