While maintenance programs aim to optimise the use of assets and facilities of an organisation or a corporation, there are problems that it cannot address and solve. Mere planning and strategising may resolve one component of the problem, but it is not sufficient to fully address the whole problem.
According to mainpac.com.au, Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM), by its systematic and calculated approach, is regarded to be the only strategy that can address the following:
1. No company is capable of avoiding all failures.
The purpose of RCM is to identify the proper intervention. While it is true that no company can avoid all failures, RCM can identify the potential system failures and devise ways to prevent them. The strategy, along with human observations during maintenance tasks, can also identify pre-failure conditions that indicate when a failure is imminent.
2. Every component failure has some degree of operational impact.
Whether the operational impact is direct or indirect, RCM identifies the consequences of component failure. It is the only strategy that pays close attention to the effects of infrequently used facilities and hidden function failures. It also determines not only such impact, but also the processes that lead to it.
3. Knowledge, by itself, is not sufficient to identify appropriate intervention.
Knowing the problem is one thing; knowing the solution is another. RCM seeks to find a logical way of organising and evaluating information to make intervention decisions. With RCM, the function of equipment and facilities is considered and possible failure modes are identified.
4. Reliability engineering solutions are the only logical solutions to apply to the issue of failure intervention.
The set of formulated strategies by RCM are assured to cover not one, but all possible sources of failure. These solutions are equipped with reliability engineering, which involves Failure Modes, Effects, and Criticality Analysis (FMECA).
The Reliability Centered Maintenance, though unable to seek a cure to future failure, seeks to solve a problem to prevent it from occurring.