What is Reliability Centered Maintenance?

Reliability centered maintenance (RCM) defines maintenance as the means to maintain an asset’s functions in a defined operating context.

In other words, RCM outlines the safe minimum levels of maintenance. Therefore, you can focus company resources on equipment that would cause the most disruption if it failed.

Evaluation Criteria for Reliability Centered Maintenance

RCM uses the technical standard SAE JA1011, Evaluation Criteria for RCM Processes. Firstly, answer these seven questions in order…

  1. What is the item supposed to do and its associated performance standards?
  2. In what ways can it fail to provide the required functions?
  3. What are the events that cause each failure?
  4. What happens when each failure occurs?
  5. In what way does each failure matter?
  6. What systematic task can be performed proactively to prevent, or to diminish to a satisfactory degree, the consequences of the failure?
  7. What must be done if a suitable preventive task cannot be found?

Consequently, start with the stakeholders who understand their physical assets and how they work. The first questions above identify the operating context of the machinery. These stakeholders then write a Failure Mode Effects and Criticality Analysis (FMECA). (Click here for examples of FMECA.)

The second part of RCM determines the appropriate maintenance tasks for the identified failure modes in the FMECA. Then, you’ll create a routine maintenance program composed of cost-effective tasks that preserve important functions.

Lastly, you review your RCM constantly and adjusted accordingly to improve cost effectiveness, decrease asset downtime, and provide insight into organizational risk.

RCM and CMMS Software

CMMS software is a vital component of the RCM process. As CMMS gathers data with every work order, it becomes easier to see what’s working, and what needs more attention. Reporting can help you quickly produce status reports and documents giving details or summaries of your team’s maintenance work, like…

  • Who’s doing what and how long it takes them to do it
  • How much that asset really costs, and when it’s more cost effective to replace i.
  • Which parts are overstocked or understocked, and which parts that need longer lead times
  • What’s the inventory turn rate
  • How much the department is spending and on what
  • Which assets are pulling their weight, and which ones aren’t
  • How much a breakdown really costs
  • What to do to prevent those breakdowns before they happen

In other words, we call that data-driven decision making. This type of maintenance management helps organizations compete in increasingly complicated and competitive markets.

Contact us to see how to get started.