What is RCM?

RCM (Reliability Centred Maintenance) is a methodology which seeks eradicate or, at least, limit the failures produced in the installations. 

RCM or Reliability Centred Maintenance is a deeper technic for elaborating a maintenance plan in an industrial installation and which presents certain crucial advantages over other possible alternatives. Initially it was developed for aircraft industry, where accurate results in the area of aviation safety where not obtained. Subsequently, RCM was used in military field and later on, in industry, after proving the excellent results obtained in aircraft industry. 

Indeed, RCM is a technic to elaborate a maintenance plan. But, in fact, the maintenance plan is just one of the results of the deep analysis that has to be made in the installation. In addition to the maintenance plan, further set of conclusions are obtained:

  • The modifications necessary to be carried out in the installation, assuming that well-management doesn’t fix a poor design, and thus, if the root cause of the potential failure lies in the design, this is what was to be changed. 
  • A set of operation and maintenance procedures that avoid the analysed failures to happen. 
  • A set of measures to be adopted in case of failure, the consequences get minimised. 
  • A list with the spare part necessary to be kept in stock in the installation, not to avoid the failure but to minimise the stoppage time and thus, to minimise the consequences.

The main objective of the implantation of Reliability Centred Maintenance or RCM in an industrial plant is to increase the reliability of the installation, in other words, decrease the stoppage time of a plant due to unexpected failures which hinder achieving production plans. The secondary objectives, but important as well, are to increase availability, thereby, the proportion of time when the plant is in disposition of produce and at the same time, decrease the expenses of maintenance.


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