What should you have before calling an RCM Expert ?

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Well, you have now realized that there is a need for reducing Maintenance cost. It seems that there are more undesirable breakdown events and the current maintenance strategies are not adequate to mitigate the failures. Like others do, your company decided to call an RCM expert to facilitate RCM studies and optimize maintenance strategies.

Does it going to improve your asset performance ?

The answer would be a straight forward NO.

Before starting an RCM study, there are certain prerequisites that need to be set right. It should be understood that without these adjustments you cannot enjoy the fruits of RCM Studies.

So what are they?

  • Good failure history:

RCM Study strives to preserve the function of the system by developing maintenance strategies for various dominant failure modes of components in that system. To identify various failure modes in the assets, the RCM team looks for failure history data in CMMS. Most of the organization fail in providing good data for the study. When you look into the CMMS, there would be tons of data but none could be deciphered into useful information. This is because, the CMMS are mostly utilized in structuring the work process.  Many are unaware about the magical work that can be done with the available good quality data.

You failure data had to be codified properly. Each component must have possible failure codes, cause code, cause text etc. Even though you have all these, if the person closing the job, does not utilize these fields properly, then it won’t help any proactive studies.

Believe that good quality data even for last three years would help RCM in picking up the failure modes and providing the right strategy as per RCM decision logic. As the saying goes “Garbage in, Garbage out”. You good data quality will help in implementing right strategy.

  • Criticality Assessment:

The second thing is that, you cannot do RCM studies for all the systems or equipment. RCM studies are very time consuming and costlier. Your experience processionals need to spend a lot of time for RCM study. It would be wise to focus on highly critical systems/assets. So an asset criticality assessment (ACA) and system criticality assessment (SCA) need to be done prior to RCM. Here again, the quality of each study is more important. RCM Study looks upon the criticality assessment as the basis for understanding the failure consequences of assets/system. A poor criticality assessment will end up in poor RCM Study.


One comment

  1. I really like this case.

    There is a crucial need for educating the workforce about Reliabilty. What it means, how it can help, how it is connected to quality and to safety. The case and what pointed out in the article are real and insightful.

    Good data suppose that
    – the purpose of the investigation is clearly identified and known, – – appropriate FM and their criticality had been determined and the most effective metrics , tools and techniques chosed.
    – the data collector is widely informed and provided with techniques, target value, maximum allowable tolerance, proof test (ACE 3T approach by LRS) for each task and measurement.

    After the workfoce are well aware of the power and importance of reliability, a suggestion would be develop data collection skills.

    The RCM expert would need to ask for and do preliminary work with client to make sure data collectors know what he expect, and need to lead them towards reliability and maintenance improvement using RCM


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