Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM)

What is Reliability Centered maintenance? It is a step-by-step instructional tool for how to analyze a system’s all failure modes and define how to prevent or find those failures early.

RCM becomes a very detailed study of things we already know, often with the justification to “make sure we don’t miss anything.” If you are considering implementing an reliability centered maintenance program you should be aware of the problems you may run into.

The problem is that an RCM study tends to require an average of 4-5 people involved a week per system, while a common sense approach with standards would only require one person about 1-2 hours for the same task.

IDCON has mentioned in several articles that Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) is an overkill for most plants when trying to improve their preventive maintenance program. “Can you really justify Reliability Centered Maintenance?” is a great article by Christer Idhammar.

reliability centered maintenance
Reliability Centered Maintenance Training.

Does this mean that IDCON is trying to say RCM is a useless tool?  Absolutely not!

RCM can be a very useful tool in several situations. In fact, IDCON conducts Reliability Centered Maintenance training for clients who are improving their overall Preventive Maintenance programs. Contact us to talk about Reliability Centered Maintenance training for your team.

Below is a short list of situations where we agree it can be very useful together with a list where we think the philosophy is not the best approach.

Implementing reliability centered maintenance? This is when you should use it

  • When designing, selecting, and installing new systems in a plant.
  • When setting up Preventive Maintenance for complex equipment and systems we are not clear on how they work
  • When teaching people the basics of reliability it helps to explain the matters in a detailed fashion using RCM

When shouldn’t you use RCM?

  • When defining Preventive Maintenance for typical plant equipment such as pumps, motors, couplings, cylinders, hydraulics etc.  It is too tedious.  We know this equipment and failure modes.

More on IDCON’s Preventive Maintenance Consulting

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.

Related Articles

Picture of Torbjörn Idhammar

Torbjörn Idhammar

President & CEO, IDCON Inc. Reliability and Maintenance Consultant

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