Myth busting 27: RCM is only for new assets

Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) was developed in the airline industry to be used for developing maintenance programs for new aircraft. There’s no doubting it – originally RCM was intended for new designs and arguably where the results of failure could be catastrophic, specifically the loss of life and where costs of maintaining had grown ridiculously high. (more…)


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Myth Busting 25: We need engineers to do RCM

Myth Busting SeriesReliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) is method for determining the most appropriate failure and consequence management strategies. It deals with your physical assets in your current operating context. The first four questions in the RCM method, are defined in standard, SAE JA-1011, “Evaluation Criteria for Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) Processes.” They utilize the time proven engineering method, Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA). (more…)


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Myth Busting 24: Basing your reliability program on Root Cause Failure Analysis

Myth Busting Series

Root Cause Failure Analysis (also called, Root Cause Analysis) is great for eliminating the causes of failures. It’s usually used where there are major production, cost, safety, or environmental consequences. But it only deals with failures that have already happened – it is usually triggered by the very consequences you would have been better off avoiding altogether. (more…)


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Myth busting 23: We need lots of failure data to do RCM

Reliability Centered Maintenance has been around since the 1970’s and it has proven to achieve amazing results wherever it has been used properly. As a reliability method, it guides decision making based on available evidence about past, and expected future, failures. It makes sense that failure data be part of that evidence. But do you need a lot of data?

A common mis-perception about RCM is that it requires a lot of data. (more…)


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Utility Asset Risk Management with RCM

Reliability is a key to successful risk management in any industry. It is particularly important in electrical utilities where the service must be “always on”. Failures can result in power outages and major disruptions to many customers, some of whom are providing critical services like hospitals, banks, stock exchange computers, traffic signals, mass public transit, and so on.  (more…)


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Myth busting 21: Are manufacturer’s warranties worth it?

Many believe strongly in the value of warranties on new / refurbished equipment. They go to great lengths talking about how important it is to do the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance to maintain validity of the warranty. This is a continuation of the last blog article on having too many failures despite following manufacturer’s recommendations. Manufacturer’s usually recommend maintenance and spare parts for their products. In our last blog we can see that those recommendations are often flawed. So what about their warranty? (more…)


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Authors’ Note – RCM Re-engineered

RCM-R® goes beyond what RCM alone can do. The basic successful method as defined in SAE JA-1011 remains intact. RCM-R® enhances that method, linking it to international standards for risk management and adding a degree of technical rigor rarely seen outside of the military, nuclear and aircraft industries. It adds a great deal of emphasis on what it takes to implement the method successfully – not only as a project (as has so often been done with other RCM methods), but as a sustainable program, and on leveraging the analysis results to maximize value generation and align closely with the intentions and precepts of the new international standard for Asset Management, ISO 55001. (more…)


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Infrastructure Renewal – An Economic Necessity


A lot of attention is going to Infrastructure and its renewal. Here in Canada the recently elected Federal Government is about to spend over $100 billion on “shovel ready and shovel worthy” projects. At the municipal level alone (where we “own” about 60% of Canada’s infrastructure), some $123 billion is needed for catching up on deterioration that’s been allowed to accumulate since the 1950’s. That doesn’t take into account needs for growth. I recently attended a conference and listened to a well-regarded key-note speaker who placed our overall spending needs on infrastructure (all levels of government) nearer to $1 Trillion! The number is huge – no matter what it is. (more…)


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