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.

Nancy Regan

I started RCMTrainingOnline.com 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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