Mechanical Engineering

What is Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM)? Principles, Advantages and Drawbacks.

Reliability-centered maintenance (RCM) is the best possible maintenance strategy for optimizing a company’s or facility’s maintenance process. The execution of the specific maintenance plan on each of the facility’s assets is the end result of an RCM process. This method is used to evaluate the degree of maintenance required for a business to run efficiently in terms of total costs, production availability, and other considerations.

Rather than maintaining equipment, the RCM approach focuses on preserving system functionality.

Reliability Centered Maintenance is used to create maintenance schedules.

As a consequence, it provides an appropriate level of operability at a minimum risk level, while also being efficient and cost-effective.

There isn’t just one form of maintenance. It’s a mix of several forms of maintenance.

Reliability Centered Maintenance Principles

  1. The main goal is to keep the system running.
  2. Identify failure modes that may have an impact on the system’s operation.
  3. Rank the failure modes in order of importance.
  4. Determine which tasks are suitable and effective in controlling failure modes.

Assessment Criteria for RCM

One of the most efficient ways for building and developing equipment is Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM). The goal of RCM is to guarantee that maintenance and inspection duties are focused on enhancing equipment dependability and safety. You’ve decided on an asset to analyze with RCM. It’s time to evaluate it using the SAE’s seven standard questions, which are the regulatory body for reliability-centered maintenance and other engineering requirements.

Seven Standard questions are

The SAE JA1011 has a set of minimum criteria before we can announce a maintenance strategy Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM). Following are the seven questions that need to be asked for each asset are-

Question 1: What is the purpose of each asset and what is expected of it?

Question 2: What are the chances that each asset will fail to perform its function?

Question 3: For each functional breakdown, what are the failure modes?

Question 4: What are the causes of each type of failure?

Question 5: What are the ramifications of each type of failure?

Question 6: What can and/or should be done to forecast or avoid each failure?

Question 7 – What should be done if no appropriate proactive job can be identified?

Implementing Reliability-Centered Maintenance

There are three stages of implementing reliability-centred maintenance: Define, analyse, and act.

Stage1. Define: 

The define stage is made up of the first three questions of the seven questions.

For question no 1, you should try to identify the function of each asset you hold, as well as the intended performance or availability. If we take the case of an elevator, we should expect it to be available 100 percent of the time.

For question no 2, When, to put it another way, is the asset no longer serving its purpose? Our elevator malfunctions when it stops transporting passengers from one floor to the next.

For question no 3, Define failure modes- not all breakdowns are the same, and neither are their repercussions, which might include unavailability, damage, and security issues. Returning to our lift scenario, the most significant failure mode would be if it fell many stories or became trapped with people inside. You must prepare for the worst-case situation as well as lesser operational failures.

Stage 2. Analysis:

Questions four through six assist you in analyzing or conducting the RCM research.

First, each failure has a rationale. You must determine what may have caused each failure category. For example, the bulk of the issues that may arise in our hypothetical lift will be due to a mechanical or electrical breakdown.

Identifying and analyzing the failure’s impact is the next step in the analysis stage. What can be seen or what actually happens during a failure should be documented by your team. What effect does it have on total production? What impact does it have on safety?

The last step in the analysis stage: Choose from a variety of maintenance jobs. Set up maintenance procedures that will help you foresee and avoid breakdowns. The higher the chance of failure, the more money you should put into preventing it. Not being level with the floor, for example, would be one of the first warning indicators in the event of a lift. Always remember that prevention should be done by professionals.

Stage 3. Act: 

The seventh question is included in stage 3. (Select maintenance tasks). It’s time to act on the information you’ve evaluated to update your maintenance jobs and system processes, as well as enhance asset design, once you’ve planned, made decisions, and assessed it. Make every effort to prepare for a failure! If a failure occurs, take advantage of the chance to reassess your maintenance strategy. If your maintenance isn’t working, it’s time to make a change. Everything can be made better.

Difference between preventive maintenance and Reliability Centered Maintenance

Preventive maintenance and Reliability-centred maintenance have equivalent finish goals, however, they take distinct approaches to allocating maintenance jobs.

1. A corporation picks a particular quality and establishes an outlined measure between maintenance activities in a very preventative maintenance programme. The upkeep knowledgeable completes the operation and notes the results of the lubrication. If you are employing a CMMS (computerised maintenance management systems) programme, the information is going to be collected, and therefore the task can show as a piece order when a month.

However, in a very reliability-centred maintenance programme, associate degree quality is chosen for analysis and analysis in accordance with business norms. The corporation chooses the optimum kind of maintenance programme for that machine or piece of apparatus supported the quality and its purpose among the organisation. Reactive maintenance, preventive maintenance, condition-based maintenance, or proactive maintenance programme may be used. Then programme has been chosen, the organisation could prolong to different key quality and repeat the reliability-centred maintenance method.

2. Preventive maintenance (PM) could be a kind of proactive maintenance that involves programming actions at sure intervals or dates to stay assets in glorious operating condition.

RCM (reliability-centred maintenance) could be a methodology for characterizing the degree of needed maintenance and developing a custom maintenance schedule for every piece of apparatus.

3. Initial value of preventive maintenance is low. On the other hand, the initial value of RCM could also be medium or high.

Advantages and drawbacks of RCM

Reliability targeted Maintenance (RCM), as the name suggests, could be a terribly effective methodology that’s merely accustomed to determining all attainable causes that may cause failure in system mistreatment cause-and-effect relationships. When the characteristic of all attainable causes, one will verify the best maintenance strategy methodology to eliminate failure. The strategy chosen ought to be to make sure that instrumentality and processes ought to perform by making certain safety and responsibility.

It primarily identifies all failure modes i.e. all attainable ways within which instrumentality or system will fail, totally different attainable ways within which failure will occur for a given piece of apparatus. Failure will have quite one failure mode i.e. quite a technique that may cause similar adverse effects on the system. For the overall system, these failures modes may be known by merely breaking down the system into sub-parts or sub-systems. These sub-parts are more breakdown till a failure mode is known.

The main goal of the RCM Program: the most goal of the RCM Program is solely to develop and establish an effective and distinctive maintenance strategy for every quality that’s terribly vital and has a high risk of failure and major consequences if it will fail. Here, quality is any information, equipment, device, or another part of the system.

Advantages of Reliability Centered Maintenance implementation:

once RCM is enforced with success and effectively in a very programme, it offers the subsequent benefits:

1. Accumulated Productivity: RCM improves total system potency by focusing alone on system management, increasing performance activity by removing failure, increasing quality utilization by merely creating them error-free, reducing maintenance reasons, and so on.

2. Lower Costs: RCM conjointly saves cash on maintenance by preventing the unwelcome failure before it happens, as some failures want extra money and resources to repair. As a result, RCM lowers the overall value of maintenance and resources.

3. Improved Productivity: RCM improves client satisfaction and dependableness by properly maintaining systems and eliminating any sudden breakdowns.

4. Quality Replacement: If associate degree quality fails for any reason or is destroyed, it’s necessary to exchange it with a brand new quality that has options that are capable of activity an equivalent purpose.

5. Decreases failures: RCM decreases the chances of a fulminant failure of apparatus or associate degree quality by maintaining the quality and minimizing all probable failure modes.

Disadvantages of Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM)

1. Current Maintenance: one of the foremost important drawbacks of RCM is that it necessitates current and routine maintenance so as to keep up assets safe from failure and additionally dependable.

2. Coaching and set up prices are required: RCM needs coaching before it may be performed, thus the initial value of RCM may be rather expensive.

3. Time and resources are required: to try and do RCM Analysis with success, extra time and resources are needed, which is vital for maintaining priorities.

4. Complicatedness: RCM is an especially refined procedure that’s tough to perform, despite its effectiveness.

5. Affordability issue: RCM doesn’t target economic problems.

6. Do not deem the expense of upkeep: RCM could be a method that necessitates current maintenance, however, it ignores the additional prices of quality possession and maintenance.

Download Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) PDF

  • References :
  1. Reliability centred maintenance –
  2. A Simple Guide to Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) –,want%20to%20use%20preventive%20maintenance.
  3. Basic Steps of Applying Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM)–
  4. Preventive Maintenance vs. Reliability-Centered Maintenance –
  5. What is Reliability Centered Maintenance? -
  6. Evaluation Criteria for Reliability-Centered Maintenance (RCM) Processes -

Sukanta Maiti

I am a Mechanical Engineer by profession, Blogger, and Youtuber by passion. I have been in the engineering field since 2014. I am passionate about sharing all my knowledge about engineering, management, and economics to my readers.

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