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Maintenance Task Selection - Part 4

Summarised by : Sandy Dunn
Webmaster, Plant Maintenance Resource Center

This is Part 4 (the last part) of a summary from the plantmaint Maintenance discussion forum which discusses alternative approaches to Maintenance task selection, including RCM, PM Optimisation (PMO), RCMCost, and others - it also touches on Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)

Go back to Part 3 of this discussion

From Dana Netherton

From: Walt Sanford

Last thread from me. There is a difference between being rigorous and being overly resource intensive. There are ways to apply the RCM principles, or "rigor" as it has been referred to, without compromising the integrity of the intent. It has to do with the organization and automation of the approach, the order and combining of steps, and the flexibility to adjust the amount of time spent on an asset once the importance has been determined, using the "correct" level of rigor.

Walt, IMHO, you make a great deal of sense, here. I don't know whether you and I would be 100% in agreement in every detail of the follow through, but I think you've put your finger on something very important. As you go on to say ...

Here's the rub. Some people have discounted RCM as a solution because they only have been exposed to one, unpalatable rendition, which they found had more unsatisfied than satisfied practitioners, and these are often folks who need it the most. This has spawned alot of "truly non-RCM" offers to spring up as alternatives. We have applied "RCM" to 1000's of systems and can't remember an instance where the application did not conform to the criteria outlined in SAE JA1011, Nowlan and Heap, DOD applications, and original MSG-3 guidance (as many clients have verified independently).

When my subcommittee drafted SAE JA1011, we did so with the conscious intent of making something that could support different processes that might all be "RCM processes". In my view, the various "RCM processes" all offer a great benefit. Where they differ, they differ chiefly in whether their cost is greater than, or less than, their benefit.

It is certainly possibly to do RCM wastefully -- to do it in such a way that their benefit is obtained at great cost (and in such a way that little tangible benefit is actually realized on the shop floor). As I have said from time to time, "You *can* do RCM 'dumb'. You can also do RCM 'smart.' The trick is to know how to do RCM 'smart', and how to avoid doing it 'dumb.'"

Here's an example of what I'm talking about. Last summer, I attended a conference workshop at which a consultant said that his RCM reviews (using his rigorous approach, in groups) typically ran for 6 or 7 weeks of all-day meetings.

My jaw dropped. This would be 30 to 35 8-hour meetings -- 240 to 280 group-hours. I am accustomed to reviews that run for 5 to 15 meetings -- *half*-day meetings: 20 to 60 group-hours. While a newly-trained group of people might take a little longer than usual, I would be very seriously concerned if they were not finished after 20 half-day meetings. In my professional opinion, if they take that long using the process I use, they would be doing something very wrong.

(BTW, needing fewer grou-hours to complete a review permits me to run meetings on alternate days, rather than every day, while still getting results reasonably quickly. That, in turn, can make group members available for their normal work for anywhere from 70% to 80% of the work week.)

Of course, few folks do a review of an entire industrial facility. Most folks subdivide things in some way. If you pick off a big bite, it can take you a long time to chew it. Did this consultant routinely pick off bigger bites than I do?

In the course of his workshop, he offered the results of two reviews that he called "typical". The scope of his reviews looked almost exactly the same as the scope of my reviews. So I don't think that that's it.

OK, maybe I didn't understand his scope exactly right. But even if I'm wrong by 100% -- even if the scope I usually use is *half* the scope he usually uses -- that doesn't account for his group-labor being anywhere from 4 to 14 times larger than mine!

IMHO, he was doing RCM "dumb", and making it enormously costly. His client was willing to use this rigorous approach *when* and *if* he saw an enormous benefit to it ... but in most cases, his client preferred to use a less rigorous process that the consultant also offered in his "Fuller Brush kit" of approaches. No surprise there -- given these alternatives, who wouldn't?

And this, I think, is how the "adjectival-RCM" processes arose. Based on various accounts I've seen by the people who advocate them, I think that people tried to use RCM -- they really did -- but with the best of intentions they were unwittingly doing RCM "dumb". And then, "having tried RCM", they gave up on rigorous RCM and tried to "streamline" it or "turbo-ize" it or otherwise speed it up -- honestly believing that they had retained RCM's essential features, but not knowing how to do RCM in a way that was both rigorous (JA1011-compliant) *and* "smart".

How is it that people might do RCM "dumb"? There are a number of issues involved.

(And in this discussion BTW I'm deliberately going to mix references to a bunch of different approaches I've seen. I am not trying to single anybody out. I'm also deliberately not naming names. In this discussion, IMHO, *who* is doing things is less important than *what* is being done. I'll only say that I am describing real approaches, ones that I've either used in the past myself, or that I have seen other people advocate either orally or in writing. Finally, I will cheerfully acknowledge up-front that I'm going to be presenting my own opinions on things, opinions that formed the practices I follow today. You can bet that other folks will have other opinions and will follow other practices. *shrug* No surprises there, either, right?)

One way to do RCM "smart", IMHO, is to have a process that is presented clearly enough to be followed easily; this prevents confusion and mistakes during the analysis. No surprises here -- but it's harder than it sounds.

Another is to have training that equips all participants with the knowledge they need -- an investment that obviously reaps dividends later. Again, no surprises here, and again it's harder than it sounds.

Another is to organize the people who do RCM in the most efficient and productive manner. Here you will find considerable differences among the consultants who would advise you.

Some will bring a consultant in, who will interview your people and produce a report. Personally, I don't favor that -- I think it's better to for you (the client) to bring your people in and let them talk things out face-to-face. Maintenance is a big elephant -- IMHO, let all the blind men thrash it out among themselves (under the guidance of an expert in the RCM process). Not only will they resolve the disagreements better and faster, but you will have an honest shot at getting them all to agree on the way the disagreements got resolved. (And we all know how hard it can be to get two prima donnas to agree on something, esp when they never meet face-to- face!)

Again, some consultants will use groups, but will provide an "expert" whose expertise consists solely of having observed a number of meetings beforehand. Again, personally, I think that the "expert" needs to be an *expert* -- someone with dedicated specialist training in RCM. Once again, this investment reaps dividends later (IMHO). But, again, it's harder than it sounds.

Some think that using software speeds things up. Personally, I think that groups get bored when they sit in a room watching one person push buttons; so relying on software to *execute* the process can end up wiping out the advantage gained by working in groups. (Software can and often should record the group's information and decisions, but IMHO this is something that should usually be done by the expert after the meeting, when the group members have gone back to their "real" lives.)

And so forth. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it gives you a sense of the issues. Lots of issues, lots of aspects -- and lots of opinions.

If you're wondering which opinion to follow, well, shop the way you would shop for any other service. Get quotes from a range of firms (timetable as well as price), get references, check the references, and decide for yourself which firms has shown you that they can meet your business needs (in terms of elapsed time and employee labor diverted to the analysis, as well in terms of the direct cost of consultant fees and expenses).

Walt continued,

There has been a lot of claim laid to "RCM". There was a time where we were compelled to call it something else because of public perception (PMO, SRCM, etc.) Education on what it is from a historical and wide perspective is recommended.

Yes, as we've seen, RCM done "dumb" gave it such a black eye in some spheres that some consultants decided to back off from the name itself. Of course, they were also backing off from the RCM process, so in a way they were only being honest about what they were doing.

The sad thing is that in justifying their decision to turn away from RCM, they made broad statements about how RCM "is" expensive or resource-intensive. In other words, rather than retaining the technical steps of the process (what's in SAE JA1011) and looking for ways to deliver those steps more efficiently, they threw up their hands and gave up on those steps altogether. *sigh*

Some also gave up on the notion of tackling the issue in an organized fashion. "Break it down into its elements, and pick and choose the elements you want." Good approach for an expert, perhaps, but how many working people are expert enough to do this sort of scramble-and-sort? If they ask for expert assistance, how can they assure themselves that their expert is doing anything more than throwing darts at a dartboard?

What we hope to do, with SAE JA1011, is to reclaim the name "RCM" so that it *can* be used consistently by these working people -- by the real people in real industrial plants whose jobs (and, sometimes, whose survival) depend on getting that evaluation right.

The key attributes, and an adherence to them, are what is important, not a name, or a book, or how much you have to spend. Dana is correct that there is something in a name, but unfortunately "RCM" has had too many renditions and counter-renditions. Understanding the principles will allow you to subjectively evaluate the plethera of alternatives and find what is correct for you, call it what you wish..

*Why* are names important? Names are important because they help ordinary people talk about important things in an organized fashion without having to be a professor at some university.

Once we know what things we are talking about, we are then much better-equipped to decide which things we want to use.

Which is what I see people on this list struggling with, day after day.


Dana Netherton

From John Moubray


I am due to present the article in question as a paper ("The Case Against Streamlined RCM") at the ICOMS conference in Melbourne in June. It is also due to be published in other magazines and presented at one or two other conferences elsewhere later in the year. As a result, I believe that I have an obligation to the conference organisers and magazine publishers not to make it freely available on websites (my own and others) until after the relevant events/publication dates. It was however published in "Maintenance Technology" magazine in the USA in January, and I am sure you and anyone else who is interested could get a copy from them. In doing so, I would be most grateful if respondents could respect the copyrights in the article until other conference organisers/magazine publishers have had the opportunity to derive the benefit from providing forums for us all to air our views on topics like this. (In other words, by all means please get hold of a copy for your own use, but please refrain from disseminating it further until (say) the end of October this year.)

John Moubray

From Dana Netherton

Steve et al.,

As a further followup, MT has placed John's article on its website, at this URL:

So, as far as MT is concerned, they are (presumably) happy if people to view it there.

Links to my own pair of MT articles about SAE JA1011 (June and July/Aug 1999) on MT's web site may be found at, and

Notwithstanding any of this, John's warnings about copyright stand WRT quoting the article too extensively in e-mails or other correspondance. Provide the URL, but don't provide more text than is needed in the course of "fair comment". (That's the U.S. rule-of- thumb, at least. I haven't a clue regarding the rules around the British Commonwealth, of course.)


Dana Netherton

From Shannon Hood

Each discussion I have heard of criticaility analysis seems to talk around production loss. In this instance its not surprising it seems fruitless. We need to remember we're supporting a business, not just production so that means a criticality reveiw should consider (amongst other things)

  • Liklihood of production loss
  • Result of production loss
  • Safety issues (fire equipment)
  • Environmental impacts
  • Effects on product qualkity
  • Costs to repair
  • Recovery rate
  • Machine complexity
  • Inherent relability.
When these things are considered, there's some surprising criticality results.

I don't want to analyse us to death, but if we should consider these things.

The reality is that RCM costs money and so does bad maintenace. So there's a happy medium. If we suggest RCM should be done on everything then we are inherently suggesting that the cost of doing the analysis on all machines is ALWAYS less than the benefits we attain. Well, I have seen one site spend $1800 in consulting fees and four trade mandays defining the optimum strategy for an $800 pump. So for the cost of the analysis I could have added two pumps to the store, paid for 32hours of trade checks (thats over 2 hours per month) and still have had change left over.

My suggestion is that the cost benmefit for RCM is a lot more likely for your really critical machines and a lot less likely for your non-critical machines - this is not rocket science. So start at the top and work your way down til you think (or have done some really complicated analysis to prove) its not worth it anymore.

Is criticality pre-analysis analysis? well yes. But so is a visit to a GP before a specialist. An alternative approach would be to feel unwell and visit every possible medical specialist and have every imaginable test, scan and boipsy in the pursuit of avoiding pre-analysis analysis. Thorough, but probably not sensible!?

From Mike Fitch

Sandy and list,

This is so you will know how the RCM discussion is affecting at least 1 non consultant. As far as names, I have to come down on Dana's side. I know very little about true RCM, PMO & such (although I'm learning rapidly through this list), but I do know that when someone refers to something, anything, I need to know exactly what there referring to. In the U.S. we play a game called football. It's the best game in the world (now I've gone & started another controversy), but if you go to South America & play football, your just chasing a little kickball around with no rhyme or reason that's intelligible to me. I could go on & on with examples of misleading names. If the ISO has done anything to clear the muddy water in the TLA flood, bully for them & goody for me. Now I can examine RCM, it's successes, it's failures ( not some competing methodology wrongly so named) & compare it with PMO (by the way, what exactly is PMO & if 10 different people tell me 10 different things who should I believe?) & it's successes & failures. From the comparisons maybe (& I do mean maybe) our corporation can decide where to invest our time, money, & effort.

What I'm saying is forgetaboutit when it comes to debating the names, accept the standard, name your competing TLA as you wish so the difference is distinguishable, & let guys like me make as intelligent as possible decisions on the possibilities!!!

Mike L. Fitch

From Tobias Kuners


New at the scene [all-the-way across in Europe], just some quick thoughts on the subject:

I cannot fully agree with Dana, and also want to add that there is more to view then only production loss.

RCM does give answers; it helps understanding what equipment needs preventive maintenance, and what does not (=RbM; Risk based Maintenance). All based on independent data instead of opinions and 'feelings' of mechanics & staff. Of course, you yourself have to set the limits, but once that is done, the system fills itself. We developed a matrix in which we could classify equipment based on the # of hours downtime to fix that part. Knowing the nature of our business, we had set ourselves some goals. We also identified a risk of failure. Both parameters 'automatically' bring an equipment part somewhere in the grid of the RCM matrix. With Management we sat together and agreed acceptable and unacceptable squares in the matrix and with that data we designed our Preventive and Predictive maintenance routines such that the equipment parts were pushed into less severe squares of the matrix. In order to move forward we agreed to review several dozen parts per week for a couple of months and at the same time used downtime pareto's to tackled the most severe causes immediately when the occurred. The latter process also gave us goodwill in the company; people recognised that we were changing things for the better.

Besides production loss, and depending on the process and industry you're in, you may want to consider spills to the environment, process safety, quality related losses, all of which relate to equipment downtime to repair/fix as input for the RCM matrix. To cover multiple criticality we agreed that more then one criticality (i.e. safety and process) adds one square to the risk of failure. More then one would be excessive with respect to the Preventive Maintenance that would be required to bring that piece back into an acceptable square in the matrix.



From Kim Matulich


Maintenance management is always evolving and through this evolution we see many systems come and go. I challenge anyone to state there maintenance management system is best as we all know this is just opinion. It is up to all of us to make our own intelligent decisions on what suits our needs. Mike if you are considering 'buying' a maintenance strategy first ask yourselves a few questions

1. How much money can we spend on it?
2. How long have we got to get it working?
3. Is it going to make a defence?
4. Can we do it ourselves with our own people?

I'm not trying to down play the importance of any intelligent maintenance strategy techniques and I am well aware that plant reliability, safety, environment, etc all play a major part in the process and I'm not saying don't use expert systems - just remember successes and failures don't normally come from the systems, they come from the people and more importantly the attitudes of the people. Good luck with your selection.



From Dana Netherton


Oh yes, when you use the RCM process you *do* get answers -- but RCM itself does not hand you answers on a silver platter. (It does not say, "this asset is critical", without your involvement. In fact, RCM itself doesn't use the word "critical". It simply gets on with the task of finding out what you need to do with your assets.) You have to apply its questions to your own information in order to come up with those very useful answers. :-)

As for production, well, Richard Ellis's question of course was about production -- but you're absolutely right, there *is* much more to view than only lost production.


From Michael Doolan

Here's a question I've been dying to ask for quite a while now ......... essentially its addressed to the upper echelon of our maintenance guru's ..... here goes ..................

The aviation industry Globally seems from all media I've seen over the years, boasts the most regulated maintenance of any industry whether its mechanical , electrical or electronic. It seems to work extremely effectively considering the number of planes and hours spent flying etc. . ( of course there are a few that for unknown reasons fall out of the sky )

The aviation industry has its act together why cant the rest of our respective industries do like wise??

Why is general (or any) industry not regulated in a similar fashion?? i.e.: a Standard Global RCM. (to be customized slightly to each relevant industry)

All work we do in its simplistic form IS essentially the same. For mechanical it is either rotating ,reciprocating or static or some variation of these forms.

Is it just because the CMMS programmers and companies refuse to come to a standard agreement so that the profit margins remain high or is it deeper, in that the training institutions globally (universities) can't/won't come to an agreement for some inane philosophical refusal to agree on anything apart from their own teaching curriculum.

I know there exists .... RCM, RCM2 and SAE JA1011, (not to mention the thousands of home grown versions around) Which, is the globally accepted minimum standard .............?

Don't get me wrong this post is not meant to inflame the Consultants or Programmers or Uni boffins on this mailing list, but rather to try to get a definitive response to the subject. I expect there will be quite a few differing opinions.

Michael Doolan

From Brandon Chennaux


As a former aircraft maintainer, (specializing in jet engines) the answer is simple. Failure of a aircraft system in flight usually has catastrophic effects, hence the high maintenance standards. We looked intently at all performance indications and testing engines repeatedly to ensure optimum performance. The cost otherwise would be too high.

For the rest of industry to take this approach, would be too costly, and the benefits unrealized. If you break down in a factory, rarely do all workers suffer anything other than an outage. Therefore managing only the critical items, identified as critical due to cost, or importance in the plant or process is the "cost effective" way to do business and manage assets.

IMHO anyway...


Brandon Chennaux

From Terrence O'Hanlon


I understand the difference in consequences in aircraft vs. industrial plant failures however is it impossible to standardize approaches without going overboard. In other words, an optimized approach that balances safety, cost avoidance and reliability that is appropriate for all (most) industrial settings?

What are the barriers?

Terrence O'Hanlon

From John Moubray


The principles of true RCM can be applied to any organised system of human endeavour that you care to name, not only to physical assets of any kind in any industry. The question is what are the principles of true RCM?

These principle have been summarised in SAE JA1011. This standard does not attempt to spell out a specific RCM process - it merely lists the features that any RCM process must incorporate in order to be called "true" RCM. Two versions of RCM that comply with this standard are RCM2 and the Royal Navy's NES45. Navair's NAVAIR 00-25-403 guide is also being modified to comply with the standard (bearing in mind that these same Navair people played a major part in writing JA 1011).

Note that the section of Navair that uses 403 is applying it to aircraft used by the US Naval Air Command. This means that the principles embodied in JA1011 can indeed be applied to aircraft.

With regard to commercial aviation (scheduled airlines): the methodology that they use to develop prior-to-service maintenance programs is called MSG3 (for Maintenance Steering Group version 3). This document was first published under the auspices of the US Air Transport Association (ATA) in 1980, shortly after the Nowlan and Heap report. It was revised twice, in 1988 and 1993. In 1999, ATA convened a working group (the MSG WG) to carry out a substantial further revision intended to accommodate issues that have arisen since 1993. This working group includes representatives of the major airlines, aircraft manufacturers and aviation regulatory bodies (the FAA, Transport Canada and the European JAA). I am also an active member of this working group.

The revisions to MSG3 are due to be published in two or three stages, the first of which is due to be published in March this year (to be known as MSG3.2001).

Note that although MSG3 was originally based closely on Nowlan and Heap's report, it contains a number of crucial differences from RCM as defined in JA1011. (Anyone who wishes to know what these differences are is at liberty to get hold of a copy of MSG3 Revision 2 and JA1011, and work it out for themselves. It may also be wise to wait for MSG3.2001 and then MSG3.2002 before coming to any final conclusions.) However, MSG3 does not claim to be "RCM". In fact, the terms Reliability-centred Maintenance and RCM do not appear anywhere in the MSG3 document. One of the issues currently under discussion within the MSG WG is whether MSG3 needs to brought fully into line with JA 1011, and if so, what further modifications would need to be made. (The two documents are beginning to converge, and I suspect that they will converge fully in the fullness of time, but it may take a few years.)

Without going into a great deal more detail, Michael, the short responses to your comments are as follows:

  • there is a global minimum RCM standard: it is SAE JA1011
  • JA 1011 allows for differences in the detailed interpretation of RCM, as long as whatever is being called "RCM" incorporates certain basic principles.

It would be nice if everyone in the world of physical asset management sang from the same hymn sheet when it came to the basic principles of physical asset management strategy formulation. In my opinion, there is no reason why we shouldn't. However, bear in mind that none of the processes that are being discussed on this website even existed 50 years ago, so we are trying to move from a state of complete anarchy to one of (complete?) harmony. I believe that humanity being what it is, it is probably going to take another fifty years before we reach this state. This is way beyond the end of the working lives of all of us presently engaged in this correspondence, so all that each one of us can do is continue, in good faith, to try to understand and to propagate what we genuinely believe to be "best practice", and in so doing make the world a better and safer place for all who live on it.

John Moubray

From Raul Pereira da Costa

Hello All

Thank you for the very good, good and not so good messages cross this web. It has been very open (for some too open) discussion. But please keep in mind that one size does not fit all. Not only when you choose a pair of boots or when you try to choose a strategy, a tool, a consultant, one software package, a book, ... There is more than one valid approach to keep up our production facilities in production with good (may be the lowest...) possible cost. And try convince others that someone has the "silver bullet" for all situations it's so unrealistic, as in the cowboy's movies in my young days.

Best regards

Raul Pereira da Costa

From Walt Sanford

I agree whole heartedly with John on this one. Understanding what must be present to constitute RCM is what is important. It will allow you to properly evaluate what is out there, if RCM is what you want and need. However, processes available which do not meet the "RCM" criteria also may add value, as they may be focused on a different set of objectives, they just should not be called "RCM". Just be cognizant of what you want versus what you will get (and what you should not compromise). You will find out what works most efficiently for you, within your set of criteria.

Walt Sanford

From Brandon Chennaux

Terrance, IMHO, to standardize an approach would work only in a standardized environment. The focus I am sure is to get the most out of what ever process the widget is performing, however not all factories fit the same profile, or run the same process to get produce the end product. Therefore lack of flexibility which a strict "standardized approach" promotes can be a barrier. I don't take the position as an expert, I am trying to learn from some. My maintenance background taught me that nothing was set in stone, and "everything" changes, from hardware to software to processes. Standardization is good as long as it is flexible enough to change.. I know (oxymoron)


Brandon Chennaux

From Jose Duran

I full agree with you.

I almost have stopped my participation (now reading when it is possible) because of many of the comments are taken like personal stuff and people start to be aggressive or defensive. The level of the discussion are many times so low (offending or treating with lack of respect people and/or organizations) because of the trend to "convince others" that we have the magic spell to solve all the problems (call RCM, RCM2, RCA, RBMX3-5, a book, an article, etc) and we forget that our companies are due to produce and to implement all the well know tools is not the real mission.


From Scott Chapman


as a newish engineer who has only been playing maintenance engineer for a couple of years i do not have years of experience to fall back on but i'll offer my thoughts for what they're worth.

as i see it, it is good that all other industries are not regulated. if we are regulated and all have to do things exactly the same, where is the competitive advantage for my company? if i can save my factory several thousand dollars by using a different method or idea, then our products become cheaper than our competitors (or more likely we keep the price the same and take the extra profit) and this means the boss likes me and i get to come to work the next day to find more ways for him to get his bonus at the end of the year.

my 2c


From: Walt Sanford

I like the way this guy thinks. There is always a better way. Regulation should provide limits to the consequence of change, not micro-manage your business.

By the way, a standard is not a regulation, until someone tells you you have to comply. It is a means to define an approach.

From Ron Doucet

Keep in mind that with evolution, progress and the survival of the fittest also comes extinction.

What constitutes progress in ones person's eyes, with all of the best intentions, could actually be detrimental and result in an unsafe process. Although a textbook does an RCM process make, now we have a standard that allows for evolution yet not deterioration.

You car example is great, but we have firmly defined what a car is and then we let progress take over. As we evolved from the car to the jet engine we actually gave then different names.

Now the criteria for RCM have been defines (SAE JA1011) now let progress continue.

Ron Doucet

From Ron Doucet

Of course there is a difference between a "maintenance strategy" and a "maintenance strategy formulation tool" such as RCM.

There are many viable maintenance strategies, and one size, by the nature of there being an unlimited amount of operating contexts etc, does not fit all.

On the other hand, as for a maintenance strategy formulation tool, RCM II is operating context independent. That is it will help you define the most appropriate maintenance for your asset in your operating context. Therefore as a maintenance strategy formulation tool, RCM II, being one size, can fit all.

Of course by this I mean that there are no assets nor processes for which RCM II can not be applied successfully. I do not mean that it should be used to develop a maintenance program for everything regardless of its importance or consequence of failure.

Ron Doucet

From Kim Matulich


I agree RCMII is a good strategy formulation tool; however, I also believe TDBU is a good tool and what I have seen of PMO I believe it also a good tool. Mike was indicating that, as an organisation, they were considering investing in a tool - let them as an independent organisation look at as many as possible without being influenced by just one type of process. These other tools will also assist in identifying the most appropriate activity - actually most human brains (with the right input) can make that decision.



From Scott Chapman


as i mentioned in an earlier post i am a newish engineer and i have been reading the posts on this list for several months. now at the risk of opening up a can of worms, can sombody please explain (as breifly as posible) the philosophy behind the maintenance strategies such as RCM, TPM, PMO etc.etc. i sincerely do not want this to turn into a who is better than who debate as that serves no one. and to those of you who have implemented a TLA strategy in your factory, mine etc, how did you do it? was it a gradual process over time or did you go in boots and all. i am curious and i await your thougths.

regards to all


From Ron Doucet

Scott, I hope this, as you say does not bring out all the consultants " guns a blazin" trying to sell tools.

Here goes, short and sweet: (well it was meant to be)

RCM, reliability centred maintenance is a process used to determine what must be done to ensure that any physical asset continues to do what its users want them to do in their present operating context.. In other words RCM will determine everything that is required including mtce tasks, operator tasks, training requirements, SOP's, suggested and mandatory redesigns. THis is applicable to new or old assets in any operating context. If you have been on this site for a while you will know that I am referring to true RCM and specifically my experience is with RCM II. We did a pilot, the concept was sound, then went in head first and have literally saved millions. (could have saved more but the education continues)

PMO, stands for preventive maintenance optimisation, although my comments will generate comments from Steve and Sandy, I am only commenting on the classical approach to PM optimisation and not specifically the product called PMO 2000 or any other product out there.

PMO in its simplest form optimizes your current PM tasks. IT is not a zeor based approach. It takes your current PM tasks and runs them through some sort of decision diagram that can validate whether the task you are doing is technically feasible(can be done) and well written. The output of a PMO is clearer tasks, tasks being more specific as to the failure mode being addressed and corresponding remedial actions as opposed to the classical "Check Motor". Another output of the PMO process should be the elimination of task that are proved not technically feasible or are unsafe.

You have to be careful with PMO because the baseline, the old PM, is an unvalidated baseline and was probably only developed, with best intentions, through gut feel.

A PMO process, in my opinion (here goes) should not generate new mtce tasks if it uses the old ones as the basis. It should only improve on them. We have a formal PM optimisation process here that we use, it is very quick, approximately 2 minutes per task reviewed, but as I did not find what I was looking for outside (as Dana said, he wanted to be able to sleep at night) I had to develop it myself. We chose not to mix up PMO and RCM. One reviews tasks, the other determines the right tasks and never the twain shall meet. The benefits you will get from PMO are cleaner safer tasks and usually less of them. In the end it does not mean you will have the right tasks. The benefits that we have realised are useful, we have decreased tasks (people were probably not doing them anyway) and have eliminated tasks that could have killed people(this was a big bonus) and all of our task are much more precise and cleaner and we hope to get reliability improvements out of this. After the pilot, we have decided to review all of our PM and at the same time perform RCM on our assets giving us the most trouble. ROI wise it is not comparable to RCM but well worth doing. As you can not RCM the world in a day it is a good thing to do in parallel with RCM. One warning though, make sure your process is defensible as the base line you are using, the old PM, is probably not.

TPM, I read the book by Seichi Nakajima, TMP involves unconditional cleaning and promotes operator involvement. In my observations there are a few things flawed with TPM but I wont give you the whole list. First, the cleaning is unconditional, you should only clean if there is a reason. Second, all failures conform to the bathtub curve. This is about 40 to 50 years out of date. (read RCM II by John Moubray to understand the 6 failure curves) Third, it is about operator involvement with no actual process for determining the required tasks. It was invented in a place with no trades demarcation and is not that easily applicable in places with trade demarcations. TPM is pushed by the JIPM (Japanese Institute of Preventive Maintenance) who I believe said "If you use TPM you will need RCM, if you use RCM you will not need TPM.

This is because RCM is all about people involvement both cross trades and with operations and with a rigourous process backing it up, determines the right tasks for everyone. Do what you have to do, have the right person do it and make the decision while all working together.

Hope this helps

Ron Doucet

From Mike Atkin


I think you owe Ron an ice cream


From Larry Johnson


As the creator of the PM Optimization process I think that I am best qualified to answer your question in this matter. I also included an explanation of TPM and RBM at the end of this section.


Larry Johnson

A little background first:

I initially used PM Optimization in 1992 to help a nuclear power plant that had suffered a series of unplanned shutdowns respond to the Nuclear Regulatory Commissions' (NRC) concern that their PM program lacked any technical basis. The power plant had, over many years, continuously added PMs to their program in response to one-time failures (knee-jerk tasks), Root Cause Failure Analysis, and industry technical notices. They knew that most of the activities they were doing were effective; they just couldn't say which ones.

I knew that RCM would be overkill for their needs - they didn't need to create a new PM program from scratch, which is what RCM does, they just needed to optimize the one they had. Drawing from my past experience with RCM (3 years with Electrical Power Research Institute and other earlier projects), I devised a process that employed many of the RCM methods to validate and optimize their PM activities. It took under a year to complete the project, the NRC accepted the results, and PM Optimization was born.

Some fallacies:

There seems to be a lot of misinformation being spread about PM Optimization - mainly by consulting firms who stand to gain from such action. I'll address a few of the hobgoblins right now.

1. PM Optimization is dangerous and leaves you vulnerable to lawsuits. Nonsense. The longest running 'pure' PM Optimization program is now in its eight year at a US nuclear power plant. Since its inception there has been: a.) No PM preventable failures, b.) A 12% reduction in maintenance staffing, c.) A 35% reduction in PM activities with no increase in corrective maintenance, d.) Recognition by the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations during their last seven evaluations as a strength, and e.) Recognition by the NRC during two separate readiness inspections as a strength. If you included all facilities actively using PM Optimization there would be well over a 100 years of operating time between them. Not a single facility has had a failure attributed to, or because of, the PM Optimization program.

2. PM Optimization doesn't allow you to add new PMs. Yes, of course it does. In fact, we always end up adding new PMs to the program as we go through analysis. PM Optimization also adds new equipment to the PM program when an omission is noted.

3. PM Optimization misses potential failures that only RCM can find. False - and true. PM Optimization effectively addresses equipment failure within the existing PM Program but it obviously does nothing for the equipment outside it. This seems to be the biggest misconception - that RCM and PM Optimization are mutually exclusive. Nothing is further from the truth. In fact, we often start with PM Optimization, establish an optimized PM program, and the roll over to RCM for the remaining equipment in the facility. Doing so allows us to show a quick return on investment while management is still focused on us - which makes long term funding and cooperation more forthcoming than with RCM alone.

Who can use it?

1. Any company that has implemented RCM. PM Optimization is ideally suited for use in the Living Program after the technical recommendations from RCM are implemented. RCM is not suited, nor was it ever intended, to be anything else that a once-through evaluation to initially establish a PM program. RCM's methodology, especially classical RCM, does not have the provision to optimize task effectiveness after implementation. Because RCM is a zero based approach, which means you start from scratch, you have to "throw the baby out with the bathwater" each time you conduct a new cycle of analysis.

2. Any reliability program manager looking for a rapid return on investment. In the long run RCM will show a return on investment, but there are very few short-term gains. Let's face it; a company is not going to institute RCM unless it improves the bottom line. This may be in the form of improved public opinion, addressed environmental concerns, better worker safety, and of course production. The longer it takes to show a return, the more likely the program will not receive the funding it needs to survive. PM Optimization is an effective strategy for reliability managers to produce a quick return while securing long-term commitment from management.

3. Any facility with a mature PM program that seeks to establish a documented basis and eliminate unnecessary PMs.

PM Optimization process:

PM Optimization employs many of the same analysis techniques as RCM. However, PM Optimization is a more streamlined approach.

1. It starts with the equipment within the existing PM program.

2. All PM activities for the equipment are decomposed into their constituent tasks (e.g. a Overhaul activity consists of visual inspections, alignment checks, replace parts, etc.).

3. A Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) evaluation is conducted (Side note: FMEA has been around for over thirty years - long before RCM) as follows:

a.) Group identical PM tasks performed on similar equipment. Similar equipment has the same equipment type, operating environment, duty cycle, and function.

b.) Identify equipment function(s) in respect to its contribution to system and plant functions.

c.) Identify the failure mode(s) that the PM task is intended to address. (e.g. a lubrication task might address 'fails to run' for a motor).

d.) With respect to the equipment function and the failure mode, determine the failure consequences.

If any failure consequence is undesirable then the PM task is addressing a Critical failure. Critical failures undergo PM task selection similar to RCM; the exception is that you are scrutinizing PM task effectiveness, not trying to construct a PM program from scratch and then comparing it to the existing PM program.

Non-critical failures undergo a 'sanity check' before dropping the PM tasks from the program. The sanity check assures that there are not reasons, other than criticality, why the task should remain in the program. This may include regulatory commitments, difficulty in obtaining parts, adverse working conditions, etc.

That's the process in a nutshell. If you want more details then go to to download the PM Optimization technical papers.

Total Productive Maintenance

Total productive maintenance (TPM) is a maintenance optimization process that promotes preventive maintenance set in the framework of equipment ownership by multi-discipline teams consisting of operators, craft, and engineers. TPM crosses organizional boundaries and the attempts to break down the rigorous compartmentalization of work within a plant. The work team concept determines which equipment gets what type of maintenance, at what level, and using what technologies. The decision process used is less formal and uses the model that best fits the specific application and work group. Similar to the RCM process, this process also emphasizes predictive maintenance. Some sites are using this concept to some extent now in what are called "Keep It Running" (KIR), "Fix It Now" (FIN), or "Work It Now" (WIN) teams. This is a relatively new initiative, and there has been some limited success with this team concept, but the overall impact on the maintenance process is still not known.

Reliability-Based Maintenance

The reliability-based maintenance (RBM) process is a hybrid of the RCM and TPM processes. RBM begins with a benchmarking phase in which an assessment is made of the current maintenance practices, organization, personnel attitudes, technologies used, work flow and practices, costs, and performance measures. Using the information from this assessment, an action plan for transition from the present to the future is developed. At this stage, RCM is used to determine which equipment will get what level and what type of maintenance and what technologies will be used in the maintenance. Like RCM, RBM also emphasizes predictive maintenance instead of or as a supplement to periodic maintenance. In a parallel effort, the organization, work division responsibilities between departments, and workflow are evaluated to determine if there is a need to recast the departmental responsibilities and work flow process. From this two-pronged review, a set of recommendations for maintenance, organizational changes, and reassigned responsibilities are developed.

From Ron Doucet

Well Scott I guess you got exactly what you did not want. Specifically :

"i sincerely do not want this to turn into a who is better than who debate as that serves no one."

The temptation was too much.I will refrain from commenting for now.


From Ross Kennedy

Hi Hans

Thanks for the e-mail.

It was certainly an interesting reply from Ron Doucet. It is a pity he has only read Nakajima's 1982 book about 1st Generation TPM which was poorly translated by someone who had trouble understanding the TPM concepts because they were so new to them at the time. This is why the book is difficult to understand.

Maybe someone should suggest he read TPM in the Process Industry by Suzuki which is about 3rd Generation TPM and explains why TPM as a precursor to RCM is such a wise move for any industry where operators have an impact on the performance of plant & equipment. Alternatively he could refer to my paper entitled: "Examining the Processes of RCM and TPM: What do they ultimately achieve and are the two approaches compatible?( " which I presented at an IIR maintenance conference back in 1999. I have attached a copy in case you want to share it with your colleagues.

Best regards


From Martin Theobald


Put the lid back on that can, quick!!!!

From Scott Chapman

My pleasure.

and to all who helped, here is your virtual icecream fresh from my factory.

icecone.gif - 4160 Bytes

enjoy it before it melts

thanks for your help


From Terrence O'Hanlon

Larry Johnson:

Thanks for the detailed response regarding the PM Optimization process!

A couple of questions if you please:

1) You state that if "you include all facilities actively using PM Optimization there would be well over a 100 years of operating time between them." Is there a reason PMO is not more widespread?

2) I thought that RBM was a trademark belonging to a hardware/software vendor and was exclusively offered by them. Is there a public version of RBM?

On another note, I read Ron's post which arrived as I was typing this and I urge Ron to stay plugged in. His very active posting of the last few days have been very educational and this list needs more NAC's (not a consultant) like him.


Terrence O'Hanlon

From Larry Johnson

You are welcomed Terrence.

As for your questions:

1) I can only vouch for facilities that my company has dealt with directly. I do know however that Duke Engineering, SIRF (previously) and other consulting firms are using PM Optimization on the same scale as RCM, but I don't have direct contact with their clients. Besides, PM Optimization is just one method of many that we use. Right now the hot button is Risk-based Analysis.

2) I was unaware that RBM is trademarked - do you know by whom? It's almost impossible the trademark a commonly used terms such as RBM, PMO, RCM, FMEA, etc...


Larry Johnson

From Terrence O'Hanlon


I appreciate your reply about the number of facilities using the PM Optimization process. I have seen a great deal of reference to it lately.

RBM and Reliability Based Maintenance trademark information can found at Computational Systems Inc. (CSI) web site here:

It is surprising when seemingly generic terms are granted this type of IP protection.

Thanks again,

Terrence O'Hanlon

From Larry Johnson

How about that. I learn something new every day. I did confirm "Reliability-Based Maintenance" registration via the US Patent and Trademark Office and it's legitimate.

My apologies to CSI for stepping on their turf.


Larry J.

From Steve Turner


Unfortunately, there is no standard for PMO hence you can't be wrong nor right. However, when we (underline) do PMO we do not just review the current PM's. In step 2, failure mode analysis, we do three things:

1. list the failure modes that are currently the subject of PM
2. Add to that list the failure modes that have happened but are not on the original list, and
3. Review the technical documentation (mostly P&IDs) for failures that do not appear on either and may have hazardous or serious commercial consequences. These are mostly to do with protective systems.

Hope this helps to put PMO in the correct frame of reference.



From Ron Doucet

Steve, I understand what you are saying and the failure mode criteria you are describing seems based on the guidelines given by John's RCM II book of which I know you are very familiar with.

As you know I was just trying to be general in my explanation and did not want to list the differences between the multitudes of all the PMO processes out there. In my quest to be general in my comments I probably should have said the "general approach to PMO" or the "main goal of PMO is to" opposed to the "Classical Approach"

Sorry for the misunderstanding, you are right, there is no classical approach to base this on and thanks for saying what your PMO process does without attempting to sell it.


From Mick Drew

Ron I think you have don a credible job of summarising some of the old world thinking re Maintenance Improvement methodologies, I have added a section to your summary of RCM,PMO, TPM called New Generation tools to give a more up to date view of the latest tools, which thanks to the advent of user friendly software proagrams is available to reliability practitioners, maintenance engineers, supervisors, technicians and operators.

Why new generation? because they use computer simulation features to take the guesswork and subjectiveness out of the maintenance optimisation process. Please note I am a highly paid consultant - but with a practising maintenance background and my business is to teach others the thinking techniques to use and apply these methodologies for themselves. And whilst those on this network thought they were safe from Aussie practitioners, ARMS Reliability Engineers have agreements in place to market the Isograph RAMS software range in the US and a network of instructors to provide skills based training in Reliability methods!


Mick Drew

Director Arms Reliability Engineers

The New Generation of Maintenance Improvement Tools

I have included a summary below of the methodology we use. It is much faster to build a model of existing plant and use this to address the improvement effort. Time is not spent going through the resource hungry logic tree analytical process, instead models are preprepared through historical data analysis or in the case of new projects through reliability prediction techniques,and site resources are called in to validate the models and make decisions on new maintenance strategies or changes to existing strategies. We have found this to be the most rapid process and least costly and leaves you with quantified models for further improvement. For example, we have been engaged by an international company to develop a model of a new 1.4 mtpy refinery so the maintenance regime can be optimised against production thruput IN 6 WEEKS!. You just can't do that with any other process and particularly not RCM or PMO.

Also our interface to CMMS Systems is live and kicking!

To determine the optimum maintenance policy for equipment you must compare the cost of unplanned failure with the cost to prevent unplanned failure. The cost of unplanned failure must include all costs to the business not just equipment downtime costs.

In order to arrive at the optimal maintenance policy several maintenance strategies need to be considered and modeled. There are several predictive and preventative maintenance techniques that can be employed and compared to Redesign and RTF options.

Since business environments are dynamic,it is not a once off process, maintenance policies should be continually reviewed to ensure they reflect changes in operational, safety and environmental objectives.

Most organizations have the information they need to optimise their maintenance and continually review their decisions but they lack the tools to structure and process the information.

In most cases organizations have, or are about to invest in Computerised Maintenance Management Systems, with a belief that maintenance will improve in efficiency and effctiveness based on the information they can store and capture in the system. In reality little is done to ensure that the information that is entered into the system is configured in a way that generates easy to use data. Typically little more is done with the information than reporting on work types and cost. The result being that time is spent on entering information that is rarely read, and the CMMS is used generally by engineers and supervisors to generate budget predictions based previous years experiences.

Correctly configured the CMMS, along with the maintenance model, can become the focal points of the continuous maintenance improvement cycle. Through a maintenance modeling process, maintenance policies can be optimised and the resulting strategies downloaded into a CMMS system. This ensures that the optimal predictive, preventative maintenance routines are being followed or RTF where it is the most cost effective option.

Typically remarks are entered against a work order on completion of the job/task. The CMMS should be configured such that the information entered can easily be used to review policies. There are two steps to ensure the data entered is relevant:

Ensure that the user interface for data input is configured to extract the required information, and where applicable failure reporting codes match relevant codes in the maintenance model. Train the workforce to understand the continuous improvement cycle and how important the knowledge they have and gain is. Relevant skills are root cause analysis and reliability principles.

The information collected by the CMMS should then be used in the maintenance model to continually refine equipment failure models, including frequencies and costs. The maintenance model can then challenge current maintenance strategies to enure that are optimal.

Ideally the process should be automated so that once initial maintenance modelling has been completed and the CMMS is configured correctly, as work orders are completed and information entered into the CMMS this data automatically revises relevane modelling parameters and checks the current maintenance strategy.

The continuous improvement loop uses and builds on CMMS use;

Implementation Project

Initial Maintenance Model

The maintenance model provides the basis for the continuous improvement loop using the CMMS as its information source and review. Initial modelling involves developing failure impacts and costs of failure to the business

The model is derived using reliability engineering principles and reflects dominant failure modes and major risk failure modes.

Data for the model can be generated from work order history, generic industry databases, and site specific knowledge and experience.

Once optimised to meet operational, safety and environmental objectives, outputs from the model are;

  • Failure predictions
  • MTTR predictions
  • Maintenance cost predictions
  • Costs of failure
  • Risk exposure
  • Equipment Availabilities
  • Maintenance Strategies/Intervals
  • Prioritised list of design out items
  • Labour predictions
  • Spare Part predictions

CMMS Configuration

The CMMS should be customised/configured such that the data entry is easy, relevant and can be linked to the maintenance model parameters.

Work Force Training

To facilitate the continuous improvement loop maintainers and operators need to understand cause and effect relationships and ideally be trained in root cause analysis. An understanding of the process of failure is also important if the work crews are to contribute to the refinement of maintenance plans.

Dynamic Review

An electronic link between the CMMS, other systems and the maintenance model allows dynamic analysis of maintenance and operational data that can contribute to revised maintenance plans. Data that could contribute to the policy review is;

  • Feedback from PM's, Inspections and Equipment Condition Monitoring
  • Breakdown and Corrective Work Orders
  • Equipment 'events'
  • Product throughput
The dynamic review will report periodically on
  • Equipment condition
  • Predicted failures
  • Revised intervals
  • Revised policies
If changes to policies or intervals are excepted, relevant data in the CMMS will be automatically updated.

The model will be able to continually report on;

  • Failure predictions
  • MTTR predictions
  • Maintenance cost predictions
  • Costs of failure
  • Risk exposure
  • Equipment Availabilities
  • Maintenance Strategies/Intervals
  • Prioritised list of design out items
  • Labour predictions
  • Spare Part predictions
For details see

From Walt Sanford

Also be aware that "PMO" is a term used not only by Larry's company but by others as well. Ex: The "PMO" used by EPRI in the fossil power arena is not as described here, but is essentially an RCM approach. PMO is not a trademarked or licensed acronym. Much of what you see and hear about "PMO" is likely several different versions. Another example of confusion in the marketplace demonstrating the need for self education. Don't buy a name, buy the underlying process that fits.

Walt Sanford

From Larry Johnson

Walt's double right.

There are a lot of consultants out there that can talk the talk, but when asked, can't show proof that their 'version' of RCM/PMO has ever been successfully applied.

I believe that ERIN Engineering, who also took the initials and renamed their own reliability process "Plant Maintenance Optimization", prepared the report he is referring to. Another EPRI report prepared by Duke Power in 1996 also identifies PMO/PM Optimization. In Duke's case they accurately characterized the PM Optimization process - because Tom Weir, who managed the project, was part of my initial project team when PM Optimization was defined.

The one thing to come out of all this is my reversal of the need to 'standardize' the various methodologies. Although I am still suspicious how SAE reached their standard, I now agree that there is a need for one.

Larry J

From Ron Doucet

On the topic of data to determine maintenance managment policies may I suggest the following as food for thought.

As the food I present.........:






As a side note, where I work we have extensive data about unimportant repetitive failures, we use this data to identify the most repetitive problem to address and to measure the results of our efforts at improving reliability. Repetitive failure data is an excellent tool for continuous improvement. It can help you identify your biggest alligator (or croc for the Aussies

We on the other hand we do not have a lot of data on failure that have serious economic, safety or environmental consequences and nor do we want lots of data on these failure. Preferable we would want no data about serious failures.

Just food for thought


From Graham Oliver

Ron Doucet's message about failure data which he labeled as The Resnikov Conundrum (hello?) seems, at first glance, to have something going for it. In a word -- How can you collect failure data if you're doing a good job of preventing failures.

But there may be two things wrong with it. One is that if you have no failures (or almost none) you may be over-maintaining, i.e., replacing parts too often. So you'd be getting no failures but spending tons of money replacing parts that had loads of useful remaining life. An optimal replacement policy should give you "some" failures".

The other thing is that the analysis of replacement intervals should also take into account "suspended" observations. These are historical records of parts being taken out of service for reasons other than failure. They even include parts that are still working at the time an analysis is done.

All of this is consistent with the data required when doing Weibull analysis.

Ron, and others are invited to look at RelCode on our website at

PS -- We don't like failures any more than you do. But the alternative is worse!

Regards...Graham Oliver

From Mick Drew

The goal is not to generate failure data, it is to understand the potential for failure and predict or forecast future failures in order to decide the most appropriate means to either prevent, predict, eliminate of RTF. The New generation of modeling tools that simulate performance do not rely on failure data at all. But a failure if or when it is found becomes another excellent opportunity to improve the failure parameters, as are Suspensions.

From Dana Netherton

Graham Oliver's message about accepting failures in order to get the data needed to optimize one's replacement polciy seems, at first glance, to have something going for it. But there may be two things wrong with it.

One is that the more important the failure, the fewer failures you can afford to risk. The more people who might be killed by the failure, the fewer failures you can afford to risk.

Ultimately (and this is the core of Resnikoff's Conundrum), the failures you care most about are the failures you cannot afford to have failure data about. Because the only way you can get that failure data is to have those failures -- and those failures kill people. The very most important failures kill lots of people.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I am under the impression that no responsible person would run that kind of experiment, and kill those people, simply in order to gather failure data that might "optimize" a maintenance program.

The other thing is that the analysis of replacement intervals should also take into account "suspended" observations. These are historical records of parts being taken out of service for reasons other than failure. They even include parts that are still working at the time an analysis is done. All of this is consistent with the data required when doing Weibull analysis.

The other thing is that fewer parts have well-defined wearout ages than people realize, especially parts in modern complex systems with electronics, hydraulics, pneumatics, and so forth.

Weibull analysis only works when examining an item with a single failure cause (what RCM calls a "failure mode"). When examining an item with more than one failure cause, the Weibull curve shifts toward random failure (beta=1) -- because the item's failures occur in effect at random (from different causes, each time).

(In practice, the curve often shifts toward infant mortality, because the intrusive work done to replace something often introduces new problems that pop up soon after the item re-enters service.)

If you're replacing simple piece parts in your asset, you may be dealing with items that have only one failure cause.

But if you're replacing assemblies -- say, electronic circuit cards, or ball bearing assemblies, or air compressors -- then you're dealing with items that are susceptible to many failure causes.

And then you can no longer speak in terms of wearout, or in terms of "useful remaining life".

Which means that (in such cases) age-based replacement as a policy (what RCM calls "scheduled discard") is not technically feasible -- it doesn't respond to the technical characteristics of the way that such assets fail -- and therefore cannot be "optimized", no matter how much failure data you might have.

This news came out of the Reliability Programs that United Airlines ran in the 1960s and early 1970s. Nowlan & Heap publicized it in their US government report, published in 1978. *shrug* It's been around long enough, I should think.

But perhaps it's still news in some circles.

-- Dana Netherton

From Peter Ball


Graham Versus Dana!

Both have an excellent *point of view* which could be worth watching.

Given that Nowlan and Heap RCM and The Resnikoff Conundrum - from Mathematical Aspects of Reliability-centered Maintenance are both Seminal Texts with N&H being 'out of print' we should emerge very much wiser.

Peter B.

From Jose Duran


There is an European project called MACRO. It has been dealing with poor data (or lack of data) handling in order to make several decisions:

  • Spares and materials holding
  • When to maintenance
  • When to inspect
  • When to perform a shutdown
  • Life Cycle costs
  • Project evaluation
The approach has been showing good results around the world

You can take a look of those tools in the next web pages:

Lack of data is something that several times produce analysis paralysis, but we need to be capable to make decisions with poor data. It is almost impossible in most cases to have real and hard failure data. Nobody will allow us to run to failure population of turbines in order to "know" failure rates.

CMMS in most of cases are filled with a lot of rubbish, and you can not rely on them, another good reason for not doing that is that almost never the failure report is linked with specific failure modes neither a time reference for specific failure modes.



Discussion ends.....(for the time being :-))

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