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Tools RCM

Doug Plucknette | Contributing Host, RELIABILITY CONNECT

RCM (Reliability Centered Maintenance) has been around since the mid-60’s, and if effectively applied in an ideal world would lead to exceptional reliability.  In fact, RCM has been applied very effectively in the airlines and nuclear industries – both have potentially enormous consequences in the event of an unplanned failure.  However, most industries have failed to achieve this same level of reliability, in spite of over half a century of opportunity.  Why?  In this podcast we’ll be discussing the following:

  1. The basics of RCM – Functional requirements, failure modes, consequences, and mitigating tasks, including a notional flow chart for doing RCM analysis.
  2. The limitations of RCM and its practical application, i.e., staff, time, and money, having appropriate staff for the analysis, and the money for implementation are often not available, e.g., you may need 5X the analysis budget to actually implement the results
  3. The need to do the basics really well first before getting too far into using RCM as the ultimate solution.
  4. The need to understand operating context in doing the analysis, and the involvement of functional groups other than maintenance, especially operations.
  5. Understanding the curves related to conditional probability of failure, and how do develop a strategy around them.

Reliability Centered Maintenance is a reliability tool used to develop a complete and comprehensive maintenance strategy based failure modes and the context and environment in which you operate the equipment.

While there are dozens of methodologies that call themselves RCM, a standard to define what most call traditional Reliability Centered Maintenance was developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers in the mid 1990’s. SAE JA1011 made clear the 7 steps of RCM

Reliability Centered Maintenance – At a minimum, in order for a process to be considered “RCM” it must ensure that all of the following seven questions are answered satisfactorily in the sequence listed below:

  1. What are the functions and associated desired performance standards of the asset in its present operating context? (What functions do we expect it to perform and what performance standards need to be maintained?)
  2. In what ways can it fail to fulfill its functions? (Functional Failures)
  3. What causes each functional failure? (Failure Modes)
  4. What happens when each failure occurs? (Failure Effects)
  5. In what way does each failure matter? (Failure Consequences)
  6. What should be done to predict or prevent each failure? (Proactive Tasks and Task Intervals)
  7. What should be done if a suitable proactive task cannot be found? (Default Actions)

The questions I am most often asked when it comes to RCM are

  1. Why should we use RCM? – The objective of every RCM analysis should be to achieve the inherent designed reliability for a process or piece of equipment.
  2. Where should RCM be applied – RCM should be applied to the top 5 to 20% of your companies critical asset. That range varies because some of your critical assets may already be reliable.
  3. What is the difference between RCM and RCA (Root Cause Analysis) – In simple terms, RCM is proactive, we address/mitigate everything that could happen whereas RCA in most cases is reactive, we are trying to understand the cause or failure modes responsible for a specific failure or defect.
  4. Why do so many companies struggle to perform and implement RCM? – There are several reasons but, in most cases, it comes down to leadership and discipline. In reality, RCM is a very simple process with a structured plan and a few weeks of training and mentoring nearly anyone can be off and running.
  5. What do successful RCM efforts have in common? – First they receive training from someone why has a proven track record of successful efforts. They develop a plan for success and the stick with it. They have the discipline to implement 80% or more of their RCM tasks before moving on to the next analysis. They use criticality ranking and OEE to select assets to work on.
  6. What are the key things a company must do to ensure a successful effort?
  • Select RCM facilitators by using proven criteria
  • Develop a plan for success that included a timeline, goals and reinforcement’
  • Appoint an implementation manager for each analysis
  • Use a contract/charter for each analysis
  • Assign names and due dates to each task in the implementation plan
  • Complete 80% of implementation withing 3 weeks

We hope you enjoy this episode!

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About the Author

Doug Plucknette Contributing Host, RELIABILITY CONNECT

Doug Plucknette has been in the Field of Asset Management, Maintenance and Reliability for 38 years. In 1999 he founded Reliability Solutions Inc. As the founder of RCM Blitz™ and author of the book Reliability Centered Maintenance using RCM Blitz™, he has provided reliability training and consulting services to numerous companies around the world, large and small, including such Fortune 500 companies as Cargill, Whirlpool, Honda, Kraft-Heinz, Schlumberger, Corning, Invista, and Newmont Mining.
Doug has made key contributions to standard reliability measures for manufacturing, and reliability training programs worldwide. He has trained numerous client RCM Facilitators and performed RCM analyses on hundreds of pieces of manufacturing equipment.
Prior to his work as a consultant, Doug worked 19 years at Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester, NY in positions as a skilled tradesperson, lead person, Maintenance Supervisor, and Reliability Engineer.
Recognized as an Industry Expert, Doug has published over 50 articles, written two books, has been a featured speaker at dozens of conferences and Key Note Speaker for two Global Reliability Conferences.