Assessment of Criticality 

With the list of possible failure modes of each one of the failures identified previously, the next point is going to be dealt: the study of the consequences of each failure mode, with the aim of determining the criticality. The question that has to be made for technicians responsible of the study must be the following: what happens if it occurs? 

With the list of possible failure modes of each one of the failures identified previously, the next point is going to be dealt: the study of the consequences of each failure mode, with the aim of determining the criticality. The question that has to be made for technicians responsible of the study must be the following: what happens if it occurs? A simple explanation of what will happen would be enough. From the answer to this question, one will be able to value its consequences for security and environment, for the quality of the product, production and maintenance. One will also have to value both the possibility of occurring and the easiness of detecting a failure during its development.

It must be borne in mind that the study of RCM3 is a study of potential failures of the installation, and what it’s even more important, the determination of preventive measures needed to be adopted in order to avoid the failures to occur. But when trying to avoid the failures, measure whose costs and implication are consonant with the consequences which the failure could have, have to be adopted. Hence, if the failure has minor consequences high-cost measures should not be adopted; and if instead, the failure has completely unacceptable consequences, any measure could be adopted, no matter its cost and implications. 

There are three aspects needed to value when evaluating the importance of a failure:

  • The evidence of the failure, meaning, if it is a hidden or a visible failure, easily identifiable. 
  • Which is the consequence of the failure form a security perspective, the environmental impact, production of energy and cost of repair.  
  • The probability of the failure occurring.

The assessment combined with these three aspects will allow classifying the failures in four categories: insignificant failures, tolerable failures, significant failures and critical failures. This last classification is crucial to determinate later on the preventive measures consonant with the significance of the failure.

This article is an excerpt of Guide 4th: Guide for the implantation of RCM3 on installations. 

Information about this guide clicking here

 

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