Integrating a Smart RCM Approach to Optimizing your PM Program

Every plant or facility desires to have a documented PM program in place- one that is followed with discipline.

Doing so provides the lowest overall maintenance and operating cost over time. Immediate benefits are:

  • Less cost for corrective maintenance (often- not always)
  • Better utilization of maintenance resources
  • Improved output of the assets or utilization of the facility.

Most maintenance and operations people have heard of RCM to develop their PM program so they jump on the RCM bandwagon. Let’s take a specialty chemical plant as an example.

This plant is 1.5 million square feet and has around 5K equipment numbers. Their current PM’s only cover 25% of the assets. How would they typically implement RCM?

First step is to start the training in RCM and develop a project.

The project leader develops a RCM charter for the outcome of the project including a deadline within 12 months. The project charter is approved and the team gets started. Most of the team members are working part time on this and still doing their real jobs as Maintenance Engineer, Mechanical Supervisor, Production Supervisor and Electrician.

At the end of 6 months they have only covered 5% of the equipment in the plant. Based on this percent it will take 10 years to complete the whole plant. Can they wait that long to develop a PM program? So what is going on here?

Consider the following:

Has a criticality analysis been completed to know what to work on first?

Is it necessary to do RCM analysis on all equipment?

How are resources calculated to develop the PM program?

Our field experience tell us that in most process/manufacturing plants and facilities only 3-5% require full RCM analysis.

Up to 25% of the equipment requires some type of streamlined RCM. The rest of the facility can be completed without analysis using a common sense PM approach.

An Example of a common sense PM Approach:

You have a small/medium centrifugal pump low to medium criticality. You can easily determine based on some experience to do the following on a weekly/monthly:

  • Check the oil level
  • Check for leaks
  • Check vibration
  • Check loose bolts
  • Check packing/seal condition on a weekly/monthly basis.

You should also change the oil every 1-3 years.

The key here is to use the Failure Developing Period (FDP) for each component to determine the inspection frequency.

Based on the FDP and if the failure is random or not, you will then determine maintenance method:

OTB – Operate TO Breakdown

FTM – Fixed Time Maintenance

CBM – Condition Based Maintenance

EC – Essential Care (maintenance prevention)

DFR – Design For Reliability or RDR – Redesign for Reliability

DOM – Design Out Maintenance

 We believe that optimizing your current PM program or building a program from scratch should not take more than 6-12 months.

So what is the point?

If you get caught on the RCM bandwagon without considering the effects you may be consumed by the RCM Monster.

Free translation RCM = Resource Consuming Monster

In most plants and facilities full RCM is recommended for 3-5% of the equipment to cover business risk.

Looking for a smart way to design, document and implement your PM program or RCM program?

Contact IDCON or sign up for one of our PM/ECCM courses.

Read more about IDCONs Preventive Maintenance / Essential Care and Condition Monitoring (PM/ECCM) Training

At IDCON, we understand the pressure you face trying to build a reliable plant.
We provide side-by-side reliability and maintenance consulting and training designed to keep your equipment running.

For over 45 years, we’ve partnered with 100s of manufacturing plants around the world to eliminate the costs and the pressure caused by unreliable equipment. And we’d love to do the same for you.

Contact us today to see how we can help you keep your plant running.

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Owe Forsberg

Owe Forsberg


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