RCM should be a living program

If this is true, how does the CMMS community (easily) capture failure history in a format conducive to updating the failure mode and maintenance tactic? And if these RCM Analysis results are stored in external system (or Excel) then this adds a lot of extra clicking .... which means the odds are greatly reduced if any update or analysis will ever be made.

And even more to the point, lets be real.

If the CMMS community had 15,000 sites, and there were at best 500 sites that performed RCM Analysis then what should those 14,500 other sites do about this on-going work order history? For whatever reason they did not perform a RCM analysis, but ....is there value in storing the failure mode data? And how?






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John Reeve

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RCM has the opportunity of being updated with RCA recommendations for equipment failure. Updating the RCM can be quarterly which is Ideal taking into consideration that time taken to complete RCA varies. Living program for RCM is not an option as it is what defines RCM.

If you look at Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) and want it to be a living program, you should ask your self how can I make processes easier. One of the main problem is that date is incomplete, spread over to many computers or data bases and is not easily accessible.

There for a good working Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) is essential.  The time alone that is spend on retrieving data for analysis, materials that are used for repair and maintenance, job-plans, failure history, and repair history, Critical Analysis  (CA), Root Cause Analysis (RCA), Condition Monitoring (CM) data, Preventive Maintenance (PM) records need to be connected to the asset to be accessible for the user.

Here it doesn't meter who it is if it is an Operator,  Maintenance Personal, Engineer, or Manager, every single one of them should have access to the data that is related to Assets to enable them to identify over all equipment health.

The CMMS is where all the information is centralized, and the efficiency of a living RCM can be measured directly proportional to the information and organization of your CMMS.  

FRACAS is a process for reporting, classifying, analyzing failures, and planning corrective actions in response to those failures. 

RCM is a set of tasks based on systematic evaluation used to develop a maintenance program. 

These two definitions are similar in purpose perhaps but different in concept/approach. 

Also note, that there are different versions of RCM as noted by Neil Bloom and Douglas Plucknette. 

With those points to the side.... 

I have discovered the following to be true regarding the CMMS community: 

Very few if any (CMMS users) actually know the definition of Failure Mode. 

Further the CMMS work order entry screen does not capture this 3-part failure mode. 

In addition, the CMMS most probably does not have a decent failure analytic to permit drill-down into failure mode and cause. 

Even if a site has never performed RCM analysis, I am suggesting the following innovative designs: 

Add the RCM Analysis results to the CMMS as a new application. 

Add the necessary fields to the WO entry screen to capture a 3-part failure mode. 

Design/create a Pareto style failure analytic to drill-down to cause 

Involve a reliability Team to focus on this failure data, leveraging the CMMS to identify chronic failures where 40-60% of all maintenance costs reside.


"Continous improvement" program (regardless of the formal name people use in their facilities) needs to be a living exercise. The formal RCM is not easy to keep "living" in the way you explained, in MHO. RCM is very structured and time intensive.

Lately, CMMS users have been trying FRACAS: Failure Reporting Analysis and Corrective Action System to positively build on their experience to improve their facilities at different phases of the assets (in general).

Based my limited exposure to CMMS users, simplicity/complexity is a foundational key in the success of the adaptation and being a lasting program. The more data you require, the more analysis you ask for, the more people are involved, the results are slower to get and program will be subject to be let down with higher probability.

Regards- Ali M. Al-Shurafa