The Essence of Reliability Centered Maintenance

What is the Essence of Reliability Centered Maintenance?  This video explains it.

(Video Transcript)

Hi everyone. Today I want to talk to you about the Essence of Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM). My mentor, John Moubray, taught me that the Essence of Reliability Centered Maintenance is managing the consequences of failure.

You see as responsible custodians, really, we’re not in the business of preventing all failure. We’re in the business of managing the consequences. That’s why it’s so important to make sure we write our Failure Modes at the right level and we write our Failure Effects properly, so we can assess the consequences.

Now, I have to admit it. When I was packing for my trip to beautiful Sanibel Harbor, I was in a little bit of a rush. I ordered a new pair of shoes. They arrived in the mail. And I did try them on – and they were comfortable. But I didn’t walk around in them very much in my house. Let me show you the culprit.

This is the culprit…it’s the right shoe. It doesn’t fit me very well. It’s a little bit big. The left one’s fine but the right one isn’t. Now the consequence is that my foot slips out of it a little and so it’s not very easy to walk so I’m kind of hobbling around this conference.

The other thing is, with brand new shoes, the soles are not scuffed up. And when you’re at a conference, everything is mostly carpeted. So it’s also a little slippery.

So, what I should have done is said to myself…”Okay, I know I’ve got a new pair of shoes, and maybe I should pack another pair as a backup that I know fits me properly.” Now they might not have been as pretty as my new shoes. But they would have worked.

Now I know that I’m just talking about shoes and that the equipment that you manage has much more serious Consequences. But the thing I want you to remember is that not all Failure Modes can be predicted or prevented. And if they can’t, then we have to figure out how to manage the consequences and that might mean instituting a new Operating Procedure, or a new Emergency Procedure, or changing a Tech Manual, or putting a new backup system in. It could be any number of things.

So, there you have it. As responsible custodians, we’re not in the business of preventing failure, but rather, managing the consequences of failure. And sometimes, Proactive Maintenance isn’t the answer. Sometimes we have to get a little bit more creative with our solutions.

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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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