Here's a question: how do you optimize an existing maintenance strategy once you implement it to increase productivity and save costs?
Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) is a preventive maintenance approach that focuses on the reliability of equipment rather than looking at it as "parts-based." It falls under the proactive maintenance category.
It involves looking at the "big picture" to determine how well your production machinery is performing and how it might be improved over time to ensure optimal performance.
In addition, RCM helps identify areas where breakdowns are likely to occur, allowing you to make adjustments before they happen.
What is reliability centered maintenance?
Reliability centered maintenance is a proactive approach to maintenance that focuses on the reliability of a process or product.
This systematic approach uses data and analysis to identify and prioritize maintenance tasks. It is a proactive method, requiring you to watch how your asset will perform in the future based on its current condition.
RCM analysis is focused on the reliability of a process or product, meaning it focuses on how well an asset performs its intended function over time. It uses data and analysis to identify and prioritize maintenance needs.
Most companies have a reactive maintenance approach, meaning they only do work when something breaks down. RCM is a proactive maintenance strategy and requires you to plan with an eye on how your asset will perform in the future based on its current condition.
Importance of reliability centered maintenance
Reliability centered maintenance is a proactive approach to maintenance. It's a systematic process for improving the reliability of a product or system by analyzing and optimizing its design, manufacture, operation, and support.
The RCM process provides preventive measures to prevent equipment failure by using data from past experiences and implementing appropriate corrective actions when needed.
Components of reliability centered maintenance
RCM methodology is a strategy to plan and maintain equipment, equipment failure, and reduce maintenance costs.
It's a preventive maintenance technique that helps avoid breakdowns by reducing variation in the life cycle costs of your assets.
RCM maintenance has the following components:
Centralization: Combining multiple maintenance functions into one service center allows you to perform asset management and improve work allocation. Companies of all sizes can use this, but it's instrumental when you have thousands or millions of assets across multiple sites. In addition, the centralization process will help ensure consistent standards are applied across your entire operation to maximize asset performance over time.
RCM measures: These are metrics used to evaluate how well resources perform relative to their expected output at each stage in their asset life cycle. This evaluation criterion gives you insight into potential functional failure and whether your systems are functioning as intended so that future improvements can be made if necessary; it also helps identify where new problems may arise so they can be addressed before they become significant issues (and thus expensive fixes).
Reliability growth objectives: These objectives should include increasing capacity utilization rates while decreasing downtime costs per unit produced/served, improving reliability through preventive maintenance tasks like routine inspections, maintaining proper calibration levels for equipment sensors, and more.
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Steps to perform RCM
Here are six steps to perform RCM:
1. Identify the critical asset in your facility, such as motors and pumps, that provide critical services for your business (i.e., heating/cooling systems, HVAC units, etc.). This is called a critical path analysis.
2. Perform regular maintenance on these critical systems and equipment, including inspections, preventative maintenance, and repairs.
3. Use appropriate technology to monitor the performance of your most crucial equipment (thermal imaging cameras for HVAC units).
4. Track all work orders related to equipment failures and malfunctions through an integrated system so that issues can be identified quickly and resolved before they become significant problems.
5. Develop a plan to replace critical equipment and ensure that you have the necessary funds to maintain your system in good working order.
6. Maintain adequate insurance coverage to protect your business and its assets in the event of an emergency or property damage caused by the failure of critical systems.
Benefits of reliability centered maintenance
RCM has three primary benefits:
Increase in reliability: Reliability is the ability of a system to perform its required functions under stated conditions for a specified period. The process of RCA enables you to minimize downtime and maximize plant availability. It also helps reduce maintenance costs, warranty costs, and customer complaints and increases customer satisfaction by improving product quality.
Reduction in maintenance costs: Maintenance costs can be reduced by identifying equipment that requires frequent attention through regular inspection, analysis, and predictive diagnostics using historical data collection techniques such as vibration monitoring systems or condition-based monitoring systems (CBM).
Reduction in downtime costs: Downtime costs arise because some processes require costly equipment replacement when they fail beyond repairable limits (for example, compressor replacement). A well-planned RCM program helps avoid these situations by accurately predicting when something needs to be replaced so that you don't have any surprises during production runs.
Suggested read: How to perform Facilities Condition Assessment?
Downsides of reliability centered maintenance
Reliability-centered maintenance has a few drawbacks.
First, performing the same number of preventive and predictive maintenance tasks may cost more because you'll need more equipment to monitor and control your systems.
Second, fault detection and isolation may be more costly since you'll have to spend time collecting data from all your sensors.
Third, maintenance planning, scheduling, and tracking will take more time because you'll need to account for the increased number of components being monitored and their interdependencies with other parts of your system(s).
Finally, performing proper preventative or predictive maintenance requires knowledge about how each component functions within its application environment (e.g., manufacturing or power generation), so if there isn't enough documentation available from previous studies/projects/contracts, then this will also add extra pressure onto already busy engineers who already have too much on their plates.
In RCM, the goal is to identify and replace components due for replacement or repair. The objective is to determine when a particular piece of equipment will fail; then, it's replaced before it fails. This way, you can prevent unexpected downtime due to system failure.
What is centralization?
Centralization is the process of moving maintenance resources to a centralized location. This allows for more efficient maintenance practices and communication between maintenance teams.
Centralization is a critical component of reliability centered maintenance, an industrial engineering practice that aims to reduce downtime by analyzing equipment failures and preventing them from recurring. RCM focuses on four main components:
Pareto analysis, which involves identifying the 20% of causes responsible for 80% of problems;
Failure modes effects analysis (FMEA), which identifies risks associated with each step in a process;
Control charts, which measure performance standards over time; and finally,
Reliability block diagrams (RBDs) help identify potential risks in your system based on its inputs and outputs.
Get in touch today and learn how Facilio helps you perform RCM activities with ease.
Advantages of centralization
The benefits of centralization are numerous.
- A centralized maintenance department means one department is responsible for all maintenance activities and information.
- There are no duplicate efforts, so you can focus on improving the reliability of your equipment and getting the most out of your assets.
- Centralized databases also easily track asset data across various locations, allowing you to identify issues as they arise instead of waiting until they are significant problems.
- And when everything's in one place, you have better accountability over who needs to take action on each item. So, suppose someone forgets about an article on their checklist until it gets noticed by someone else. In that case, the right person is alerted immediately instead of having something slip through the cracks during multiple levels of review (or lack thereof).
General principles related to centralization
There are two types of centralized systems:
In a centralized maintenance system, a single manager is responsible for all maintenance activities. This person may be located at different levels of the organization; however, they typically have complete oversight over all work orders and equipment. This approach ensures that there are no unnecessary delays or bottlenecks in the process, as it involves only one person making decisions about work orders.
A decentralized maintenance system involves multiple people working on various equipment in different locations. If a problem occurs with one machine, it can be handled by someone who has direct access to that particular piece of machinery and does not need approval from anyone else before proceeding with repairs.
As with any new process or business initiative, you are implementing reliability centered maintenance requires a rock-solid implementation plan. If you're not careful, your effort can become nothing more than an expensive flop that no one is happy about.
The first step in your implementation plan should be to assemble an implementation team. This team should include representatives from all areas of the organization and each department affected by the change: production, quality assurance, maintenance, and engineering.
Next comes setting up an implementation schedule and budget for this new approach to maintenance management. The first year of adoption may require more time and money than subsequent years as you get used to having this vital tool at your disposal; however, many long-term benefits will help offset these costs over time (as well as make them worthwhile).
Once you've completed these initial steps, it's time to launch your RCM program. But, it would be best to educate everyone on the new approach and how it will affect them daily. This means providing information about the new process and showing examples of how it works; don't just tell people what they need to do but also show them.
Reliability Centered Maintenance is a process for finding the best maintenance strategy for each asset. For example, it makes more sense to use run-to-failure for smaller issues (say loose screws, for example) than replacement cycles because running them will cost less money and cause fewer headaches from low light or outages.
You would, however, want to use preventive maintenance for heavy machinery. RCM differs from risk-based maintenance management (RBM), which helps you allocate resources based on criticality.
To carry out reliability-centered maintenance, you need to examine the types and causes of breakdowns, then create a plan to reduce or eliminate them altogether.
An RCM strategy must be continually re-evaluated as markets and circumstances change.