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If it isn't broke why fix it?


IRC has available all the training materials you need to optimize your maintenance program. Whether you are responsible for bringing a new system on line, improving the performance of troubled systems, or simply extending the useful life of aging equipment, these are the tools that will enable you to create and implement a state of the art program.

What are some of the common maintenance problems that an effective Reliability Centered Maintenance Process can help avoid? The list is extensive and familiar. Far too much corrective maintenance work instead of proactive work. Reoccurring problems that never seem to be sufficiently addressed. Maintenance tasks that have no discernable impact on system reliability together with their flip side, scheduled overhaul tasks that can create more problems than they solve. The RCM methodology is the most efficient way to identify and address these issues.

Failure Modes and Effects Analysis

A critical factor of Reliability Centered Maintenance is the understanding that the goal of any maintenance program is to preserve the integrity of the process that involves the equipment being analyzed. Specific pieces must be seen in their context to the process as a whole. This involves a multi-step analysis process that begins with identifying each specific process that a system is required to perform in order to operate properly. From this point the analysis continues, identifying the failure modes that can disrupt system integrity. Only by understanding these failure modes can you begin to create a truly preventative maintenance program instead of one that is primarily reactive. Maintenance tasks can become predictive and failure finding instead of simply time driven, and limited maintenance resources can be applied where they are most effective.

Equipment Maintenance Templates

These templates are extremely effective tools for implementing optimized maintenance practices. There are two primary areas of benefit. First is the process of creating the templates. This procedure requires a thorough review of existing practices as implemented throughout the organization as well as accessing outside sources for industry standards. Information gleaned from experience is shared and new information is evaluated for applicability to your specific requirements. The second that are of benefit involves the use of the template itself. The dynamic property of these templates allows for true criticality analysis, a major factor in effectively establishing maintenance priorities. The analyst is also able to ‘cherry pick’ tasks that apply to the specific equipment being analyzed insuring the appropriate level of attention to that specific piece.

Failure Cause Codes

Almost any interview with Maintenance Leaders will eventually move to the need to collect, record, and trend critical equipment information. This can be anything from As Found / As Left data to accumulated tool cycles and tolerances. The attempts to pull this information from written maintenance task sheets or from verbal technician statements quickly become overwhelming and are often abandoned. But it is possible, and practical, to begin accumulating this critical data in useful formats. Once a thorough Failure Modes and Effects Analysis has been completed, this information can be expanded into the development of specific Failure Cause Codes for any given piece of equipment. These codes can then be organized and incorporated into most Computer Maintenance Management Systems for real-time retrieval and analysis.

Detailed Maintenance Tasks

In an effort to control costs, many maintenance departments are investigating the possibility of using apprentice-level employees or contractors to handle routine maintenance tasks. This frees skilled mechanics to concentrate on more difficult or technically challenging tasks. The basic premise is sound, but it does have one major drawback. If the people assigned to a particular machine are not familiar with it, and a different person may be assigned to it every month, how can the Maintenance Leader be certain that the equipment is receiving the proper service? The development of Detailed Maintenance Tasks insures that analysis of the equipment need only be done one time and that an employee or contractor with reasonable mechanical skills can follow the task instructions and successfully completes the required service.

IRC’s RCM Software – The Preventative Maintenance Optimizer

This software package, developed by IRC, is designed to take the analyst through the entire Reliability Centered Maintenance process. System templates are created to organize the equipment Functions and then develop the Functional Failures. Criteria is established for determining Criticality. Each level builds on the input of the previous levels, until you have developed an effective list of maintenance tasks based on a highly effective RCM analysis. The program is also interactive with the other IRC Maintenance Products. It is a well-organized way to incorporate a Failure Modes and Effects Analysis into an active maintenance program. It utilizes the data gathered in the development of Equipment Maintenance Templates and Failure Cause Codes. The data is gathered in an Access database for input into a Computerized Maintenance Management System, including the coordination of Detailed Maintenance Tasks. A start to finish approach for developing an optimized maintenance program.