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The Value of RCM in Business Today

The Value of RCM in Business Today

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Published by api-3732848
مقالات دومین همایش بین‌المللی بازآموزی مدیران فنی و نگهداری و تعمیرات
مقالات دومین همایش بین‌المللی بازآموزی مدیران فنی و نگهداری و تعمیرات

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Published by: api-3732848 on Oct 19, 2008
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\u00a9 2006, Conscious Asset Management
The Value of RCM in
Business Today

Reliability-Centered Maintenance (RCM) is the
world\u2019s dominant proactive method for
determining maintenance requirements for
physical assets. It is a thorough methodology
that produces well documented and fully
justified decisions on asset management
strategies. It has been highly successful at
improving reliability and safety while reducing
overall maintenance costs and increasing
capacity for increased revenue generation. RCM
had its beginnings in the commercial airline
sector and has spread to virtually every other
capital intensive industry. In many cases, it has
a substantial payback on its initial investment in
addition to several benefits that are not as easily
quantified: safety, environmental compliance and
product quality. RCM provides great benefit and
is worthy of consideration if reliability is truly
important to your business.

The Value of RCM in Business

Reliability-Centered Maintenance (RCM) is the
world\u2019s dominant proactive method for
determining the maintenance requirements for
physical assets. It is of particular value to capital
intensive industries where business success
depends heavily on the use of its assets operating
reliably and safely.

RCM was developed in the commercial airline
sector in the 1970\u2019s. At the time, the commercial
aircraft industry was experiencing some 60
crashes per million take-offs. Roughly 40 of
those were attributed to equipment failure. The
industry was in the early stages of design of its
jumbo jets \u2013 the Boeing 747, McDonald Douglas
DC-10 and Lockheed L-1011. It feared that if
airliners continued to crash at the same rate it
would not attract many customers, ultimately
failing to reach its growth potential. They
attempted to cure the problem by increasing the
amount of maintenance they were doing \u2013 after
all, many failures were equipment related. To
their dismay, they discovered that in many cases

the increased maintenance even made things

Stan Nowlan and Howard Heap1 studied aircraft
failures looking for correlations between those
failures and the maintenance that was being
performed. They recognized that maintenance
was a contributing factor to many of the failures
but in some other cases maintenance was able to
improve the situation. They looked for patterns
and found them. There were actually six patterns
of Conditional Probability of Failure2.

A 4%
B 2%
C 5%
D 7%
E 14%
F 68%

Operating Age

A 4%
B 2%
C 5%
D 7%
E 14%
F 68%

Operating Age
\u2022 Pattern A is the well-known bathtub curve.

It begins with a high incidence of failure
(known as in infant mortality) followed by a
constant or gradually increasing conditional
probability of failure, then a wear-out zone.
This pattern appears in biological systems
(like us) and in simple systems that have
only a few dominant failure modes.

\u2022 Pattern B \u2013 classic wear out, shows constant
or slowly increasing conditional probability
of failure, ending in a wear-out zone. Prior
1 Nowlan, F. Stanley, and Howard F. Heap,

\u201cReliability-Centered Maintenance,\u201d Department
of Defense, Washington, DC, 1978. Report
number AD-A066579.

2 Conditional Probability of Failure is the

probability of failure of an asset at any instant in
time given the condition that it has survived to
that point in time.

\u00a9 2006, Conscious Asset Management

to the Nowlan and Heap study, this was the
dominant view of equipment failure. It
occurs in assets that are in contact with
product, process fluids and slurry\u2019s and
drive components.

\u2022 Pattern C \u2013 gradual aging, shows slowly

increasing conditional probability of failure,
but there is no identifiable wear-out age.
This occurs where there is erosion, corrosion
or fatigue.

\u2022 Pattern D \u2013 best new, shows low conditional

probability of failure when the item is new
or just out of the shop, then a rapid increase
to a constant level. This occurs in systems,
usually complex, that are maintained and put
into service by highly qualified technicians
before being turned over to less qualified
operators. Examples are hydraulic, fluid
power and pneumatic systems.

\u2022 Pattern E \u2013 totally random, shows a constant

conditional probability of failure at all ages.
This pattern appears in many systems or
components that are, on their own, not
typically subject to maintenance work.
Rolling element bearings and incandescent
light bulbs are examples of this type of

\u2022 Pattern F \u2013 starts with high infant mortality,

dropping to a constant or slowly decreasing
conditional probability of failure. This is
common in complex systems that are subject
to start up and shut down cycles, frequent
overhaul type maintenance work and
product cycle fluctuations.

Nowlan and Heap\u2019s study on civil aircraft showed that 4% of the items conformed to pattern A, 2% to B, 5% to C, 7% to D, 14% to E and no fewer than 68% to pattern F. The number of times these patterns occur in aircraft is not necessarily the same as in industry. But there is no doubt that as assets become more complex, we see more and more of patterns E and F. Later studies3 have shown the same patterns with somewhat different (but similar) distributions.

3 Broberg (1973) also studied aircraft and two

studies were performed on submarine failures
(MSP in 1982 and SUBMEPP in 2001). All
show similar patterns with somewhat different
percentage distributions. In the submarine

These findings contradicted the then-current belief that there was a connection between reliability and operating age. This belief led to the idea that the more often an item is over- hauled, the less likely it would be to fail. Nowadays, this is seldom true. Unless there is a dominant age-related failure mode, age limits do little or nothing to improve the reliability of complex items. In fact scheduled overhauls often

increase overall failure rates by introducing
infant mortality into otherwise stable systems.

To make practical use of this information,
Nowlan and Heap developed the RCM process
and their findings were published by the US
Department of Defense (1978). Various military
standards4 (in the US and UK) and an aerospace
industry standard5 (international) were then
published. Two other excellent reference books
on RCM soon followed for commercial
application. John Moubray published the first
edition of his book6 in 1991, followed by
Anthony M. Smith7 in 1993. Smith focused
primarily on the electric generation industry
while Moubray\u2019s work was more general in
nature and has broader application. Throughout
the 1990\u2019s a proliferation of various maintenance
program development methods arose, all of them
claiming to be RCM. For reasons of improved
economy, the US military then decided to
eliminate the requirement for use of its stringent
MIL-STDs if suitable commercial alternative

studies there were far fewer pattern F failures but
more of patterns E and B. This is attributed to
maintenance programs that include \u201crun in\u201d of
assets after they are maintained in order to
eliminate infant mortality once the asset is put
into service.

4 US DOD: MIL-STD 2173(AS), NAVAIR 00-

25-403, S9081-AB-GIB-010/MAINT (The
USN\u2019s RCM Handbook) and UK MOD: NES

5 MSG-3, \u201cMaintenance Program Development
Document\u201d, Air Transport Association,
Washington, DC
6 Moubray, John, \u201cReliability-centred
Maintenance II\u201d, 1991, Butterworth-Heinemann,
Oxford, UK (now in 2005, it is in its 2nd edition).
7 Smith, Anthony M., \u201cReliability-Centered
Maintenance\u201d, 1993, McGraw-Hill, Inc., New
York, NY
\u00a9 2006, Conscious Asset Management

were available. To clear the confusion that
existed in the commercial market, and at the
encouragement of the US DOD, the SAE
developed its standard, JA10118. The remainder
of this paper discusses RCM as described in the
SAE standard.

RCM has proven to be highly successful. In
commercial airlines it has reduced the crashes
from 60 per million to only 2 per million, a 30-
fold improvement and reduced the proportion of
equipment related causes from 40 per million to
0.3 per million. Commercial air travel today is
extremely safe with an average of one
commercial airliner crashing per month. That
may seem high, but relative to the industry\u2019s
performance in the 1960\u2019s and 70\u2019s it is a vast
improvement. Your chances of being hit by
lightning are 5 times greater!

The RCM process requires the answering of 7
questions in sequence:

1. What are the functions and associated
desired standards of performance of the
asset in its present operating context

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 ways 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

These seem simple enough, but answering these
questions satisfactorily requires a deep
understanding of RCM that goes beyond the
scope of this paper.

The results of RCM analyses are documented on
Information Worksheets and Decision Logic
Worksheets. Many companies opt for

8 SAE JA1011, \u201cEvaluation Criteria for
Reliability-Centered Maintenance (RCM)
Processes\u201d, Aug 1999.

computerized data base systems to track their analyses, but print the worksheets for review purposes.

Successful RCM analysis requires a detailed
knowledge of the physical assets, what they are
intended to do for the company along with
performance standards, how the fail, what
happens when they fail, how to repair them and
of a variety of maintenance approaches that can
be used. RCM requires a team effort. Teams are
typically comprised of 3 to 4 operators and
maintainers plus a facilitator. The knowledge
required to do RCM analysis is found in
operators and maintainers of the assets.
Periodically they are supported by engineers and
other specialists in the design, construction, use
and maintenance of the assets. The teams are
facilitated by an analyst who is trained to a great
depth in RCM and in how to facilitate the

RCM analyses are conducted in small projects.
Each project deals with a system or piece of
equipment. The projects are chosen so that they
can be completed in no more than 15 three-hour
meetings by the analysis team. Analysis of all
the assets at a particular facility can take several
months to a few years depending on the size and
complexity of the facility and its systems.
Toronto Hydro, the electric distribution utility
for Canada\u2019s largest city, did approximately 100
projects covering most of their assets within a 2
year period. GE Plastics in the Netherlands
analyzed critical assets in some 32 projects over
2 \u00bd years. The Canadian Navy analyzed all
systems (nearly 250) on its then new ships (in
the late 1980\u2019s) in a four year period.

RCM is a proactive analysis process. It is used
to determine what will happen when failures
occur and to decide on appropriate measures to
mitigate the consequences BEFORE they
happen. The alternative to RCM is to allow the
failures to happen, to suffer the consequences
and then to decide on what to do to avoid them
in the future. There are a variety of approaches
that are used: Root Cause Failure Analysis,
Preventive Maintenance Optimization and
various engineering statistical analysis methods
all deal with the failures after the fact. With the
exception of PMO, they require statistical data
that can only be collected for your facility after

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