What is Reliability Centered Maintenance?
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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.