Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM)

By | December 17, 2013


Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) is a systematic process used to determine what has to be accomplished to ensure that any physical facility is able to continuously meet its designed functions in its current operating context.

Goals of Reliability Centered Maintenance

  1. To develop design associated priorities that can facilitate preventive maintenance.
  2. To gather information useful for improving the design items with proven unsatisfactory, inherent reliability.
  3. To develop preventive maintenance related tasks that can reinstate reliability and safety to their inherent levels.
  4. To achieve the above goals when the total cost is minimal.

Principles of Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM)

  1. System/ Equipment focused: It is concerned more with system function rather than individual component function.
  2. Safety and economy: Safety is of paramount importance in RCM and thus should be ensured at any cost. Cost effectiveness becomes a criterion.
  3. Function oriented: It plays an important role in preserving system/equipment function.
  4. Acknowledges design limitations: RCM aims to maintain the inherent reliability of the equipment/system design and can thus recognize possible design limitations to improve inherent reliability.
  5. Reliability centred: It places importance on the relationship between operating age and failures experienced and is not only concerned with the failure rate.
  6. RCM is a living system: It collects information from the results achieved and feeds it back to improve design and future maintenance.
  7. RCM tasks must be applicable: The tasks must reduce the occurrence of failures or reduce the damage resulting from failure.
  8. RCM tasks must be effective: The tasks must be cost effective and technically sound.
  9. Unsatisfactory condition is failure: A failure could be either a loss of acceptable quality or a loss of function.

Components of Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM)

  1. Reactive maintenance
  2. Preventive maintenance
  3. Pro active maintenance
  4. Predictive testing and inspection

Tasks acknowledged by Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM):

  1. Failure finding tasks: They are carried out to discover hidden functions that have failed without providing any information/indication of pending failure.
  2. Time directed tasks are scheduled as necessary.
  3. Condition directed tasks are conducted as the conditions indicate for their need.


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