What kinds of assets can RCM be applied to?
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Absolutely. In fact, in Stanley Nowlan and Howard Heap’s book on RCM, they state:
The content of scheduled-maintenance programs developed by experienced practitioners of MSG-2 techniques may be quite similar to the programs resulting from RCM analysis, but the RCM approach is more rigorous, and there should be much more confidence in its outcome. The RCM technique can also be learned more quickly and is more readily applicable to complex equipment other than transport aircraft.
It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in. RCM can be – and has been – applied in just about every industry. I personally have facilitated super-successful analyses on equipment ranging from aircraft to support equipment to manufacturing equipment. Aviation specialists have said to me “Yeah but we’re not a factory. We fly. You can’t land on a cloud.” And commercial equipment experts have said to me “Yeah but we’re not an airplane. We have production goals to meet.” Well, I’m here to tell you what I told them. RCM can be successfully applied to any asset. The original architects of the process designed it that way.
I know it’s true because I’ve applied the process to equipment as wide-ranging as aircraft, mobile ground equipment, ship assets, and manufacturing equipment – within the military, government, and commercial industry. What’s the difference if a hydraulic system powers flight controls for an aircraft or the brake system of a tow tractor? The only difference is the consequences of failure and RCM is brilliant at helping identify those.
RCM can be – and has been – successfully applied to loads of industries including military, government, and commercial – on land, underground, at sea, and in the air. If a system needs to be maintained, RCM can be used to figure out how to do so.
RCM principles can be widely applied to an entire asset or plant or more narrowly applied to select pieces of equipment. It can even be applied to individual systems. How much or how little RCM is applied in your organization depends upon your unique situation and what you wish to achieve – your goals for your situation. It isn’t an all-or-nothing kind of process.