Reliability Engineering for Maintenance

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RCM-2005 Feedback

  • 1.  RCM-2005 Feedback

    Posted 03-16-2005 05:44
    We had about 180 people participated at RCM 2005 the Reliability Centered Maintenance Managers' Forum in Clearwater March 9.

    This event, as the name implies was 100% focused on the process of Reliability Centered Maintenance.

    The general lessons I learned over the course of 12 case studies were that:

    • A little RCM is better than no RCM
    • The RCM Process you select is not as important as ensuring your site is ready for RCM
    • RCM often fails to get implemented even after a successful analysis
    • It is OK to blend different RCM derivations based a your own decision criteria
    • Leadership and strong management commitment are required
    • The payback from successful RCM is 10:1 to 15:1
    • Find a qualified RCM consultant to get you started - once you master RCM facilitation - you can run your own RCM
    • Implementing RCM requires a different talent and skill set than running a maintenance program based on RCM

    I hope others who were in attendance will comment on lessons they learned.

    Thanks again to all the presenters.

    Terrence O'Hanlon, CMRP

  • 2.  RE: RCM-2005 Feedback

    Posted 03-16-2005 08:32

    Great conference! I agree with your conclusions about RCM. There are numerous ways to achieve equipment reliability. The biggest obstacle in my opinion, is getting the "decision makers" to understand what they're making decisions on. The way most organizations operate is to have operation managers making decisions that dictate maintenance actions(or lack of). Eventually the maintenance actions will start dictating operation schedules, because the equipment won't be running when they want it to. The "M" in "RCM" stands for "maintenance". That fact automatically causes a lot of operations people to ignore it. Maybe we should call it "RCO". "Reliability Centered Operation". (That's all we need, another acronym.) After all, our pursuit is not to perform maintenance, it's to ensure optimal operation. At the conference, I found out about many good RCM processes that can help in that pursuit.

  • 3.  RE: RCM-2005 Feedback

    Posted 03-24-2005 21:34
    Appreciate if could elaborate on why "implementing RCM requires a different talent and skill set than running a maintenance program based on RCM"? I'm a bit puzzled by this statement. And I'm about to start an RCM based on FMEA & operator-based basic equipment care. TQ

  • 4.  RE: RCM-2005 Feedback

    Posted 03-26-2005 08:38
    The skill set required for performing the initial RCM analysis and getting it applied (that is what I am calling implementation) is different than the skill set required to perform the tasks as defined by the initial RCM analysis.

    Performing and RCM analysis and performing the tasks that results from the RCM analysis are different.

    Does that make sense?

    Terry O

  • 5.  RE: RCM-2005 Feedback

    Posted 04-01-2005 19:17
    Ok certainly performing the RCM analysis is a different activity than carrying out the tasks from the RCM. However, I believe the RCM team members should be leading and implementing the action items that their analysis recommends for ownership purposes. TQ

  • 6.  RE: RCM-2005 Feedback

    Posted 06-27-2005 22:40
    RCM is so great idea for modern industry maintenance.I am so regret that i can't attending it to learning more knowledge about it!

  • 7.  RE: RCM-2005 Feedback

    Posted 06-27-2005 22:44
    If there have some documents for us to share the forum.
    When i am in university my paper subject is RCM,about on china state owned chemical plant,and we caculate the MTBF and give some suggestion to plant maintenance to do the preventive manitenance work.But now i thing it is so simple not professional.

    Wish in future we can communicate the idea how to excute the RCM in chemical plant.

    best regards!


  • 8.  RE: RCM-2005 Feedback

    Posted 06-28-2005 16:34

    We are pleased that you are a member of this forum and are willing to share your information.

    Most members of this forum are all glad to learn more from your experience.

    I suggest that you post your report so we can all learn more about RCM.

    Thanks again for being part of this community.

    Terry O

    PS: I hope to visit China in 2006 for the maintenance conference there.

  • 9.  RE: RCM-2005 Feedback

    Posted 06-29-2005 23:01
    RCM2005 gave me freshment and encouragement for maintenance strategy which I don't think much more before.

    Now RCM2005 ignited for me to start RCM in POSCO where one time it failed to perform RCM.

    Actually , someone in POSCO still have strong resistance about RCM here because of time-consuming process and fixed idea that must follow a standard RCM whatever we sacrifice(my extremely expression).

    In their opinion, my simple and light modified RCM analysis process is not proper and effectiveness.

    Gentlemen !
    Would you tell me what is so called RCM analysis requirement requirement bottomline.

    I am afraid that there is not contactable RCM facilitator in Korea as far as I know.

    My point about succesful RCM is feasibility in short term and consensus among administration who support ,staff who plan and fieldman who do a task.

    As Terrence said,
    That's good definition about "implementation" RCM analysis .

  • 10.  RE: RCM-2005 Feedback

    Posted 06-30-2005 05:49
    Thank you for your kind words.

    I wish you very good luck with your RCM project.

    I will see if I can find an RCM project consultant who works in Korea.

    I hope to visit Korea in October so perhaps we can meet in person then.

    Terry O

  • 11.  RE: RCM-2005 Feedback

    Posted 06-30-2005 19:54
    Hi Daeilkim,
    Now i have the some issue with you. In my company we have one CMMS MP2,in this system we do the PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE work ,and we also have RCA procedure.So i think first we must have one very good PM system and then adding the RCA to constructure one FT(Failure Tree).That to find the failure reasone and do the spare parts or inventory plan.
    In MP2 system we have the idea when we input the equipment number that is ET(Equipment Tree),that mean we break down the key equipment into two layouts(Location)and detailed recorded in system.
    In addtion we also make one SD(shut down) record system to analysis the MTBF ,do RCA.If we get the MTBF ifnormatiom for one components we can optimize the PM interval.

    Just share with U!


  • 12.  RE: RCM-2005 Feedback

    Posted 07-01-2005 17:37

    I tried to contact you by responding to your email. You requested information on FMEA but the email address bounced.

    The document: MIL-STD-1629A "Procedure for Performing a Failure Mode, Effects and Criticality Analysis" can be downloaded from

    I also posted MIL-HDBK-2173 "Reliability-Centered Maintenance Requirements for Naval Aircraft, Weapons Systems and Support Equipment." It provides detailed information on how to perform a Classical RCM process that you might find interesting.


  • 13.  RE: RCM-2005 Feedback

    Posted 07-02-2005 01:56
    Dear Terrence and all RCM pros, How do you come up with this statement ie "The payback from successful RCM is 10:1 to 15:1". Appreciate if you could publish the whole data to the forum, from which I guess you have concluded the above statement. Also why "A little RCM is better than no RCM"? TQ

  • 14.  RE: RCM-2005 Feedback

    Posted 07-02-2005 05:34

    Relating to the 'A little RCM is better than no RCM.'

    I advise a PhD student who is working on the RCM analysis then redesign of an in-line electrical heart pump. By performing a very intense RCM, requiring some months of research, we were able to identify the weaknesses inherent in the design. We are presently performing studies on how to optimize the life of the heart pump from 2 years to 10 years. In that case, the amount of time and effort into the analysis makes sense. (ref: "An Initial Investigation of Insulation Failure Effects On LVAD Performance," Accepted and to be presented in September at the IEEE Electrical Insulation Conference).

    In another case, I had to review the condition of rotating machinery life, in a mine, that was 5-8 years average MTBF and provide recommendations to increase the average machine life to 20 years. Limited budget. The basic rules of RCM provided one of the tools that were used to make recommendations on the existing MR&E program to achieve this goal within budget.

    In other cases, I may utilize a 'Backfit' RCM process to evaluate the effectiveness of a maintenance program. In others, I have to utilize a full Classical RCM process.

    In each case, the effectiveness of the program, utilizing RCM as a tool, and to provide rules of evidence, the extent relies upon the will of management to put teeth behind the program and the will of the participants to take part.

    I think, based upon my experience, that you will find that even just following the rules and structure that RCM provides will provide an appreciable benefit. If your company has the will to apply the findings and recommendations.

  • 15.  RE: RCM-2005 Feedback

    Posted 07-02-2005 08:32
    Thank you very much.
    I will download from there.

    Anyway, email bounced? I will check that.

    Originally posted by MotorDoc:

    I tried to contact you by responding to your email. You requested information on FMEA but the email address bounced.

    The document: MIL-STD-1629A "Procedure for Performing a Failure Mode, Effects and Criticality Analysis" can be downloaded from

    I also posted MIL-HDBK-2173 "Reliability-Centered Maintenance Requirements for Naval Aircraft, Weapons Systems and Support Equipment." It provides detailed information on how to perform a Classical RCM process that you might find interesting.


  • 16.  RE: RCM-2005 Feedback

    Posted 07-12-2005 01:16
    Originally posted by Josh:
    Ok certainly performing the RCM analysis is a different activity than carrying out the tasks from the RCM. However, I believe the RCM team members should be leading and implementing the action items that their analysis recommends for ownership purposes. TQ

    Dear Josh,

    Any implementation process needs certain specialized skills. These include skills in, for example,
    - change management
    - project management
    - communication
    - marketing
    - presentation

    Doing RCM analysis needs knowledge/skills in e.g.,
    - operations
    - maintenance
    - RCM process
    - team work
    - ability to challenge status quo

    There are some areas of overlap, but, as you can see from the above, implementation needs other skills than analysis.

    I was hoping to meet you in KL; my loss.



  • 17.  RE: RCM-2005 Feedback

    Posted 08-05-2005 22:29
    Dear Vee, sorry my schedule did not permit to go to the capital that time, however I'm in KL so I can easily meet any coming professionals.

    Thanks for the clear differentiation between doing RCM vs implememting it. Judging from it and your other posts, you are a great and patient guru (teacher)! Guess what now I'm responsible to implement the RCM results after project team's handover.

    Anyway, I'm really interested to see tabulated data to support the conclusion that "The payback from successful RCM is 10:1 to 15:1". Pls delete any reference to actual organizations for confidentiality purposes. I hope with this data, it would be easier to convince people to properly carry out RCM tasks. TQ

  • 18.  RE: RCM-2005 Feedback

    Posted 08-06-2005 02:27
    Dear Josh,

    In John Moubray's book on page 320, he states that the there was a 50% reduction in the requirements of spare engines, each costing over $1,000,000; in the Boeing 747 case, the effort for structural inspection post RCM was 66,000 hours, compared with 4,000,000 hours for a less complex DC 8.

    In my experience, RCM expenditure of about 10,000 enabled a cost reduction of about 90,000 in one case and about 250,000 in another. It all depends on the starting point, how good are you at present?

    But cost reductions are NOT the real issue. It is the improvements in reliability that really matter. First, the Technical Integrity of your Plant goes up; that means reduced Safety and Environmental incidents and of much lower severity. Second, the Plant availability goes up, so you can turn out more products of a more consistent quality. That mean more revenue, which is where RCM relaly makes a difference. Improvements of 1-3% in Availability are normally achievable, which can mean huge increases in income. This is where the real benefits are, and accounts for the 30:1 or higher ratios.

    Technical Integrity is hard to evaluate. How do you price a safety event that was avoided? RCM enables you to work safely, and your reputation and image are preserved. What is the value of that?

    If your Management insists exclusively on hard numbers, you are fighting a losing battle. They will always find a hole in your argument, e.g., we are not the Airline Industry, it may work in the USA or UK but not in Malaysia etc. Other peoples results dont impress me etc.

    You have your work cut out. Good luck.


  • 19.  RE: RCM-2005 Feedback

    Posted 08-10-2005 21:40
    TQVM Vee for the info. However, this kind of info on quantitive payback from RCM is spotty (here and there). It's a bit risky to quote this kind of info as an example for presentation. Have anybody like SMRP compiled all the data and tabulated them? TQ

  • 20.  RE: RCM-2005 Feedback

    Posted 08-11-2005 20:07
    Vee I fully agree with your statement of Management insisting on hard numbers, these is a typical beancounters (accountants) mentality.

    Some years ago we started with an initiative to perform steamtrap surveys on a regular basis with ultrasound. To justify the equipment I just used data from the DOE, made some average numbers of repair costs and did a little financial analysis.

    Some time ago a financial guy asked how much we $$$ saved with the implementation of the project. My answer: I don't know, nor care, but I do know that the steam distribution is no maintenance/operations headache anymore.

    If I had to quantify in $$ the time spend to push the project, motivate people, go in the field, explain the working of steamtrap and how to isolate a tracer around a faulty transmitter, ... and look at my salary.

    At the end of the day THEY will miracoulously the burn the money you have saved.

  • 21.  RE: RCM-2005 Feedback

    Posted 08-12-2005 02:00
    Dear Svanels,

    I see your point, but may I suggest a slightly different approach. My comments to Josh were about justifying work BEFORE starting a program, while you are discussing the results of the programme.

    Most maintenance people feel the way you do; let us get on with the job and let the bean counters do theirs. In my experience, the maintainers job is not complete till he or she tracks the results and claims the success or admits to defeat in any programme. This is our weak spot, and in my view, contributes to our lack of clout in the board room.


  • 22.  RE: RCM-2005 Feedback

    Posted 08-12-2005 02:51
    I'm a maintenance guy and I'm on your side. That's why I feel we need data of successful RCM programs to move forward strongly. TQ

  • 23.  RE: RCM-2005 Feedback

    Posted 08-12-2005 05:59
    Vee I admit that we (maintenance professionals) do not promote ourselves enough. But on the other hand I try to explain the results in terms that the most interested audience (maintenance/operations) can comprehend.
    In terms of unplanned shutdowns, overtime, rush orders, production stops, stress etc..
    Still there are people thinking that maintenance craft is hunting for overtime to get some extra pay. Big Grin

    Jokes asid, it is time that we express our measurements in rational terms, instead of the ones imposed by Finance guru's.
    I found the book "Developing Performance Indicator for Managing Maintenance" an eye-opener in that expect.

  • 24.  RE: RCM-2005 Feedback

    Posted 08-12-2005 13:24
    The "most interested party" is always the owner/owners of the company or those repsonible for reporting to the owner/owners of the company. These are the people that we must convince that maintenance is a source of profits for the company, and a very powerful one at that. A dollar saved in the maintenance area goes directly to the bottom line of the company. In highly competitive businesses, it may take $10 is sales to equal $1 in savings. In most cases, it is probaly easier to add dollars to the bottom line via savings in the maintenance arena than increasing profits thru sales. Spend some time with your company's marketing manager. You'll find out that it takes a lot of money and time to improve brand awareness to the point that it actually adds to the bottom line through increased sales/profits. I bet most companies would be better off if they took 10-20% of their marketing budget and gave it to the reliability nuts. But the only people that can actually change the flow of money are the ones who hold it. And they don't care about anything else but that. So the best thing to do is talk about money to the people in your company that only care about money - because these are the people that truly control your company's future (and they always will).

  • 25.  RE: RCM-2005 Feedback

    Posted 08-12-2005 16:53
    Dear All, (Hi Vee)

    I have to disagree a little. (Although not too much)

    I often find that the results of any reliability initiative are generally self evident after or at times during the initiative itself. Many times these are tracked by specific measurement programs, at times not. But generally the evidence is there once things get underway.

    The issue is... they dont get underway as often as they should! It is not so much the ability to prove the results after the event, although I agree this is important, but rather the ability to gain an understanding of the strategic importance of asset management in the first place so as to get these things underway! (EVEN in industries that are not highly competitive or where profit margins are already great!)

    This is the challenge for modern asset managers I feel, and it has been my experience that when issues are relayed to the board in bite size pieces that they are able to digest and expand upon, then results start to become possible.

    Think about it, how much was paid for the latest enterprise level software system? And how much was spent on getting the maintenance and asset management intervention regimes in place to fill it? (If your business is like most others this will be a woefully uneven split)

    A quote I once recieved from a financial director, (prior to speaking in depth regarding the issue) was "I can make more money rearranging my accounts!".

    This rings in my ears constantly and was because someone was trying to "sell" him on the importance of asset management through direct cost reductions only. (Which were not to be sneezed at either by the way!)

    Once we were able to get hiw away from this narrow view, and onto some of the longer term benefits of asset management as a strategic tool within the organization, things changed substantially. He is now a key supporter of a major initiative we are implementing within that organization.

    My 2 bobs worth!

    Kind regards,

  • 26.  RE: RCM-2005 Feedback

    Posted 08-12-2005 23:33
    Well guys, I'm in progress of sharpening my people skills such as communication, networking, playing golf, lunch, etc) to convince those finance people even maintenance top mgmt. Maybe when I'm successful, I can become a politician, championing the cause of the maintenance & reliability people of course!

    However, I think I haven't got the complete data (bullets) to convince them eg about RCM, people tend to think this is more prone to failure where it was reported that 60% are successful. Another matter is that to inform them that the payback for RCM is between 10:1 and 15:1 is a bit risky without having any concrete data to support it even though I believe the statement is completely true. TQ

  • 27.  RE: RCM-2005 Feedback

    Posted 08-13-2005 02:20
    Josh, Hans, Daryl and others,

    When competing for scarce resources, we have to sell our ideas. So I support Josh fully; he needs as much hard data as he can get to get approval for a new initiative.

    Hans is absolutely right; we maintainers will start being recognized as people who understand the bottom-line approach only if we actulaly demonstrate it to the movers and shakers.

    I must disagree with Daryl about the visibility of results; in my view the results of reliability improvements are NOT self-evident. It may be to us, who are deeply involved, but not to the decision makers. Managements need evidence and tangible results, numbers and $ signs. The danger is that the results are absorbed into the system like the boiled frog, so nobody notices the (gradual) changes. After all, it takes a few months or even years to see some clear differences after implementing a reliability program. So there is a need to track and report success(and failure) to all the stake-holders.

    I agree with Daryl about things not getting underway. Many reliabilty efforts fizzle out after a big bang start, diluted by other competing inititives. If we dont want to follow through to completion, it is not very wise to take a back swing either. That is why I suggest a progressive set of reliability improvements rather than a whole raft of 'fast-track' multiple inititives. Managements are always looking for quick results, so it is useful to start initially with inititives that are easy to implement and track

    I think many of us feel passionate about the subject. So we should be willing to go the extra mile and prove our claims are true, not merely shout louder.

    V.Narayan (Vee)

  • 28.  RE: RCM-2005 Feedback

    Posted 08-14-2005 00:40

    Regardless of the time it takes the majority of reliability initiative result in obvious resluts.

    The costs reduce, the morale improves, the business process changes, the data becomes more usable and the defect gets fixed.

    In most cases this is what we are looking at within the world of industrial age thinking asset managers. SHould they be measured and reported on, sure. Nobody said they shouldn't, but there is generally a noticable change in state.

    But I would like to re-state the point that I made earlier. The vast majority of real improvements going into the twenty first century are in the strategic realm rather than the tactical realm as detailed above. Eg:

    Reduction, and ability to measure the level, of risk exposure (More important in some industries than others admittedly)

    Support of long term capital expenditure (Within certain types of industries)

    Support of OPEX budget submissions

    To provide a framework for outsourced contracts

    Management of asset condition and replacement intervals

    Etc, etc, etc.

    The point being, at times it is tha case that although board level directors want to achieve results like these, and are willing to fund them, they have no clue that the asset base can deliver such results when managed correctly. This is the key issue.

    When they are confronted with a raft of people all pushing their own versions of tactical results without the long term vision or strategic importance attached, it soon becomes just another program among many. (Rather than the central plank of asset-centric businesses that it is)


    You have been digging through here and no doubt other sources now for a long time it would appear. Looking for results to collate and present to management in an effort to try to win over their hearts and minds. Mostly, I am sure, that you have recieved tactical information and case studies related almost always to direct cost reductions.

    I would suggest that if your management has such issues in understanding the advantages of proactive asset management techniques, and you are not able to win them over with the information that you currently have, then you have a problem. And quite possibly you need some assistance from people who do this sort of thing regularly.

    I would really suggest that this be a step that you consider if it is within your budget to do so, because it appears that you are not going to win over the management anytime soon on the current path.


  • 29.  RE: RCM-2005 Feedback

    Posted 08-14-2005 01:07
    Even to bring in an expert, we need a budget justification and for that I need data that any proposed strategic intiative shall bring the intended positive results. We cannot effort a trial & error. I'm the first QA/QC level. Yes, I'm digging for info (I guess not gold but only bronze) which is meaningless without proper implementation. From the info, I can imagine what good it is, what to do and doing is another matter, most likely involved experts to dig further into the matter. TQ

  • 30.  RE: RCM-2005 Feedback

    Posted 08-14-2005 01:18

    Presuming that you have a raft of experts within reach of where you are, they may be agreeable to do some for of arrangement whereby they perform some diagnostic work with the agreement to fold the costs into future work if it is realised.

    (Just to clarify, I live nowhere near you and am pretty busy for the next few years, so I am not talking about myself here)

    Another initiative may be to get approavl for some form of diagnostic work at a much reduced cost than a reliability initiative would have, or some form of strategic planning / future state planning workshop with the senior (Cheque writing) levels.

    Or get some of them to attend a conference aimed at the strategic levels, I have some conferences in Malaysia during the next month actually, but I would recommend any strategic level conference aimed at getting through to them.

    Or, and heres an interesting thought, do you have the skills yourself to carry out some form of proactive reliability initiative? But are merely looking for internal funding? If so then the answer may merely lie around the metrics that you are using to support the process. Maybe something along the lines of a Short-term, medium term and long-term metric set up with a small proving project to get things running.

    People can read all they like without taking a decision or even forming an oipinion. Worse, the more information you throw at the cheque writing level the less likely they are to read it! (Typical!!)

    And.. it apepars that this path that you are taking is not working for you, that is the line they have given you regarding justification etc, which you are faithfully portraying, is a cover on their behalf for not understanding the depths of the area. (Not uncommon)

    So you are going to need to do something differently. What are your options?


  • 31.  RE: RCM-2005 Feedback

    Posted 08-14-2005 02:26

    Daryl makes some excellent points and offers good advice. Let me try and add a couple for consideration.
    1. Getting your basics(see earlier post on this subject) right can bring in some significant reliability and cost improvements. The results will be visible within months, and should be tracked from onset of initiative.
    2. Getting your Operating Philosophy right can improve reliability and costs quite nicely, see

    3. Your credibility with Mangement can be well established if by taking these steps you can demonstrate success. The nice thing is that these two cost very little and deliver a lot. So Managment will know that you actually deliver results not just talk about them. When you then talk about RCA or RCM or IPF, they will tend to support you.

    V.Narayan (Vee)

  • 32.  RE: RCM-2005 Feedback