What’s Reliability Centered Maintenance?

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Reliability-focused maintenance is a seven-step process used to improve machinery functionality and prevent future problems, increasing profitability. It was created in the 1960s and 1970s by engineers from the US Department of Defense and United Airlines. The process involves researching equipment, determining how it can fail, theorizing about the cause of failure, and determining immediate and further consequences. The final steps focus on prevention and creating default actions if no solution is found.

Reliability-focused maintenance is an efficiency theory commonly used to improve the functionality of machinery. By following its seven-step review process, you can better understand a machine’s function, potential problems, and possible solutions. The objective of this maintenance is twofold: to prevent future problems and to increase profitability. Many industries, from manufacturing to nuclear power plants, use this process.

The reliability-focused maintenance process aims to increase the cost effectiveness and uptime of the machine and to achieve a greater understanding of the level of risk at which a company operates. In short, this method provides standards for a safe minimum amount of maintenance for a particular industry. This new way of thinking about equipment repair was created in the 1960s and 1970s by engineers from the United States Department of Defense and United Airlines as they began looking for more scientific ways to think about maintaining machinery like aircraft at reaction.

The first phase of reliability-focused maintenance involves researching equipment to determine what specific function each piece of machinery should perform, such as an automated drill press that should drill 500 holes per minute. The next step in the process is to determine how a particular machine can fail, such as a drill bit breaking or even underperforming, only making 100 holes in a minute. Engineers often have to theorize about what caused this failure to complete the third stage of reliability-focused maintenance. The fourth step is to determine the immediate consequences of the failure, such as how long it takes to repair a broken tip.

The last three steps of the reliability-focused maintenance process involve even more speculation than the first four. The fifth step is to determine further consequences of the failure, such as a loss of income, a loss of market share and missed production deadlines. The sixth step focuses on prevention by determining what steps can be taken to proactively reduce the occurrence of this failure, such as a preventative maintenance program to regularly replace bits before they fail. The final step in the reliability-focused maintenance process is more of an apocalyptic plan, asking what could be done if no solution to the failure is discovered. These default actions should reduce the impact of these errors.

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