We describe the concept of Reliability Centred Maintenance (RCM) which is the term used to describe easy systematic approach to the evaluation, design and development of cost- effective maintenance program for plant and equipment.
The process focusses on the functionality of the plant and equipment and the critical failure mechanisms that could result in the loss of the functionality. When employed effectively the process can result in the elimination of unnecessary maintenance activities and the identification and introduction of measures to address deficiencies in the maintenance program.
Overall, the process can result in higher levels of reliability for the plant and equipment at reduced cost and demands on finite maintenance resources, the application of the process requires interaction between the operators and the maintenance technicians which is often lagging in traditional maintenance programs. The imposition of this discipline produces the added benefit of improved information flows with the result that maintenance activities and operational practices are better informed.
The overall aim of the RCM process is not necessarily to reduce the cost of maintenance programs but to improve the functional performance of plant and equipment. Enhanced reliability and efficiency will in turn contribute to improved economics and safety performance of plant and equipment
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