Streamline Maintenance Tasks : Everything You Need to Know About RCM


There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to maintenance management and optimizing your maintenance tasks. After all,  there are so many things to go wrong.

Each asset may have its own unique failure modes, causes, effects, and tactics for anticipating and averting such failures. This is where the beauty of reliability centered maintenance comes in. Regardless of your industry of choice, or the unique elements of your daily business operations, you’ll find that you’ll enjoy the benefits of RCM. 

Keep on reading for our full breakdown of reliability centered maintenance and how it can merge into preventative maintenance.

Optimizing Maintenance Tasks 101: What Is RCM?

Finding the best potential maintenance approach for each asset in your company is a part of reliability centered maintenance (RCM).

Maintaining diverse assets necessitates a different approach to the task at hand. A few need to be constantly monitored with the latest high-tech equipment, while others can get by with the “run until failure” paradigm. Preventive maintenance is your best chance for many of your assets.

It’s worth noting that the practice of running an application until it crashes has a poor reputation among technicians. Bulb light bulbs are a well-known illustration. As they are nearly always the least vital components.

They are inexpensive to acquire and have on hand. There is minimal to no danger of injury or productivity loss if things go awry. And it doesn’t matter how unskilled the tech is; you can still replace them.

The first step in determining the optimal method is to examine your breakdown history. Then, look at the efforts you’ve been making to maintain and repair your assets.

Your next step is to decide on a maintenance plan. Maintaining a high degree of dependability at the lowest feasible cost is the ultimate objective. This means “getting the greatest value for your money.”

Sometimes, having professionals like implement your basic setup for RCM can be invaluable. 

The Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) Process

The following seven phases outline the various ways of adopting reliability-centered maintenance. The first step is to choose the RCM analysis equipment.

Reliability-centered maintenance analysis begins with the selection of a piece of equipment. Preventive maintenance and repair expenses should be significant considerations when you’re choosing equipment.

This criticality analysis template will help you choose the best RCM equipment. This is the critical step in defining the systems in which you will house the chosen equipment.

The equipment is a part of a more extensive system that is critical to the operation. It doesn’t matter whether the system is vast or tiny. You must understand its function, inputs, and outputs. Conveyor belt systems, for example, are used to move items.

It takes in commodities and mechanical energy as inputs to drive the conveyor belt, and as outputs, it gives back items. If an electric motor supplies the mechanical energy, that motor would be deemed part of a separate system.

Next, determine how the system may go awry. They are also known as the failure modes.

This stage aims to make a comprehensive list of all the reasons why the system’s operation can go wrong. A conveyor belt could malfunction because it can’t get the items from one end to the other or doesn’t get them fast enough.

Moving on, you’ll want to locate the underlying reasons of the various kinds of failure. Gather your operators, skilled technicians, RCM specialists, and equipment experts. They can all assist in identifying the causes of multiple types of failures.

A lack of lubricant on the rollers, a bearing failure, or a loose belt might cause the conveyor’s failure.

Then, you’ll want to analyze the consequences of these failures. Many factors may impact the safety and performance of other equipment when a piece of machinery fails. You may also assess these failure scenarios in terms of their importance.

Methodologically Assessing Failure

This stage may be approached in an organized manner using a variety of ways.

Among them are the following strategies. 

  • Failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA)
  • Hazard and operability studies (HAZOPS)
  • Failure, mode, effect, and criticality analysis
  • Risk-based inspection (RBI)
  • Fault tree analysis (FTA)

After this thorough investigation is complete, you will identify the most common causes of failure. Examine whether or not the failure mode has safety implications and whether or not it results in a complete or partial shutdown of operations.

Failure modes that you should investigate first and foremost are those you’ve identified in your response. As a result, only those failure modes with a reasonable chance of happening under standard operating settings are maintained.

Pick a Strategy for Dealing With Each Failure

At this point, you’ll choose the best maintenance strategy for each failure scenario. The preferred maintenance method has to be both technically and economically viable to be effective.

When detecting the start of a failure mode is possible, go for condition-based maintenance. It is the method of choice for preventative upkeep. Preventive maintenance based on time or consumption is used when technically and economically possible to do so.

You should explore a system redesign to remove or alter the failure mode. It’s critical for failure modes that do not offer adequate condition-based maintenance.

Then, you’ll want to put the chosen maintenance strategy into action and then reassess and evaluate as you go.

For the RCM approach to be effective, you must follow its maintenance suggestions. As new evidence comes to light, the recommendations should be revisited and updated as necessary.

Unlocking Timely Maintenance Methodologies

If you’re new to the world of RCM, things can be somewhat overwhelming in the beginning. However, if you break down the entire process into must-follow rules, you’ll be capturing the essence (and the benefits) in no time. We hope that our guide on dealing with your maintenance tasks through the lens of RCM was helpful to you. 

And, if you’re interested in learning more, you should go ahead and check out our business section for all the additional guides and explainers you could possibly need. 


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