By Carlo Odoardi. These are challenging economic times and opportunities abound with many of our customers to add new business value. They are turning to us and asking: “You’ve brought great value to our Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) program through knowledge capture, personnel education, laying the foundation for a ‘living’ maintenance program and so on. However, what additional value can you provide us beyond what you have already done?” The answer: “Focus on writing high-value, asset maintenance tasks. i.e. Tactical PM Program Implementations”.
To elaborate, most of us would agree that there is a new global economy being forged right now in the manufacturing sector. Inevitably, this translates to a renewed focus on transferring more business value to the customer. Central to this will be the linking of RCM facilitation with effective maintenance program implementation.
Today we need a strong emphasis on what Tactics are required in order to achieve the failure management strategies an RCM Team defines. That is, we will conduct the decisions phase of the analysis somewhat differently. On a consensus basis, the Facilitator leads the RCM Team to create well-articulated PM tasks in a simple two-step process. Note that the process always considers each of the three possible types of proactive maintenance tasks (Condition-Based Maintenance – C Tasks, Scheduled Restoration/Discard – T Tasks, or Detective/Failure-Finding Interval – D Tasks) :
Step 1: A physical asset health Indicator adequately described with a:
- Normal state (a description of asset status where there is little or no degradation in performance),
- Warning state (a description of asset status where there is some degradation in performance but perhaps insufficient to warrant an intervention),
- Alarm state (a description of asset status where there is sufficient degradation in performance to warrant an intervention either immediately OR at the next available downturn) and,
- Critical state (a description of asset status where there is significant degradation in performance to warrant an immediate intervention).
These we will refer to as the NWAC states.
Step 2: The other is a brief description (i.e. 20 to 30 words) articulating which NWAC state triggers an action that constitutes what must be done to return the asset to like-new condition.
Here’s an example of this for a CBM type task:
Visually inspect the condition of the hydraulic hose for signs of blistering, cracks, leakage or other physical damage. When visible cracks are found, Maintenance Mechanic replaces hose H1004.b as per SOP #MT501-1(a) at next available downturn. Repair time = 30 mins. Spare hose (SAE 100R2 Type AT) needed.
N – Normal (Not brittle, not blistered, not cracked, not leaking – no action)
W – Warning (Brittle, blistered – Continue to monitor hose condition)
A – Alarm (Cracks found – schedule hose replacement at next available downturn)
C – Critical (Leaks found – contact Maintenance for immediate hose replacement)
If done correctly, the effort/time required describing each NWAC in Step 1 and the corrective task in Step 2 should be insignificant. How so ? We are capturing the NWAC information when we describe the P to F (or life) ‘evidence’ that leads to functional failure in the failure effect during the FMEA portion of RCM analysis. Provided that our available Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) are reasonably familiar with the assets being analyzed, they will be able to quickly & easily assign each NWAC from their asset experience and knowledge. Furthermore, the corrective task should be easy to write up because seasoned maintainers (i.e. The subject matter experts or someone they know) have often ‘lived’ the pain of repairing the equipment failure. We find that such experienced SMEs are more than willing to share their experiences so they need not be repeated.
As RCM Facilitators, we conduct our analyses with maintenance program implementation clearly being our end objective. After all, the complete business value proposition (i.e. the promise of RCM) can only be realized if, after all we do, the agreed-to Proactive tasks are dove-tailed into the customer’s day to day work management process. Even if it means compromising our number of failure modes per hour metric, the end justifies the means.
This article was originally provided by Carlo Odoardi. He is a Maintenance & Reliability professional with a passion for helping asset-intensive companies achieve sustainable, world-class operational performance. For more than 25 years he has consulted extensively on industrial culture change, business transformation, advanced industrial technologies and Management Information Systems. Today, he specializes in the design and implementation of physical asset reliability standards, practices, processes and enabling technologies. Carlo holds a Master of Engineering degree from the Intelligent Machines and Manufacturing Research Centre (IMMRC) at McMaster University and an Associate’s degree in Electronics Engineering Technology from Ryerson University. He is the past Chair, Society for Maintenance & Reliability Professionals (SMRP) Ontario Chapter. Carlo is now an Associate of Conscious Asset.Reliability Consulting