Thursday, 3 December 2015

RCM 10: Learning Lessons

A lot of things can go wrong during the implantation of an RCM Project, in the same way, that other projects, recording the acquired knowledge-based in experience is important to be exploited in the future.

Some of the lessons that I have learned during my last projects are listed below.

1.   Project scope. Usually, this item is a source of conflicts among the stakeholders, this is due they have got different experiences in RCM, since every project is different, to find disagreements is normal.

The problem is increased when we find external staff because it produces a project cost increase. Well-Defined project scope is important to avoid misunderstandings and problems among the stakeholders, an increase of period and costs.


2.  Level of detail. The level of detail must be defined, it should include as the analysis of equipment as the description of tasks and actions to implant as a result of the RCM analysis.

A level of detail too low makes the analysis useless because it doesn’t define the results; a level of detail too high is also useless because the result will be too long and costly, and difficult to implant.

Regarding the analysis of equipment, in accordance with ISO 14224 standards, to analysis up the level of components is recommended, the level of an element only is interesting for equipment with a special complexity.

Regarding tasks description, it is sufficient to be explicit enough for maintenance operators to identify them right, to replace work orders is not necessary. If actions are redesign to define a target, delivery and cost is enough.

3.  Expectations of stakeholders. Different expectations among stakeholders is usual, to solve this problem is possible by a good definition of goals.

Usually, stakeholders consider the result of an RCM analysis is a reduction of maintenance costs, an increase of the number of tasks, the elimination of failures or a full replacement of preventive maintenance to on-condition maintenance.

We must consider RCM is a methodology to optimize maintenance, increasing reliability with minimum cost, so we should neither predict outcomes nor enforce results.   

4.  Are we doing true RCM? Usually we believe we are doing RCM but it is not true, RCM is not a way to justify the current maintenance plan, to perform all the maintenance tasks recommended by the OEM, or to implant a full on-condition maintenance plan.

We should consider that RCM is to follow a structured procedure, by using logic trees, to obtain a maintenance plan that provides maximum reliability with minimum cost.

5.   Training of stakeholders. RCM training to all stakeholders is the best way to avoid false expectations and to ensure we are doing true RCM.

Training must be at different levels of intensity depending on the degree of involvement of stakeholders; it must provide a culture of reliability in the organization and make clear goals, scope, level of detail and possible results. Training should provide deep knowledge of the procedure to members of analysis and implantation teams.
To ensure the efficient fulfillment of targets, to perform training at the beginning of the Project is recommended.


6.  Continuous improvement. The RCM maintenance plan is a living paper; it must be updated continuously, so to try to design an RCM plan for several years is a mistake.

The plan must be updated when the operation conditions, the financial environment, the product sale price, or the raw materials and energy cost change, even when the condition monitoring techniques develop.

Also, all the new functional failures, that are not included in the RCM plan, and regular system failures must be analyzed by RCA and must be included in the maintenance plan. 



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