What is RCM and how does it work

RCM (Reliability Centered Maintenance) is a service that focuses on ensuring the reliability of equipment and assessing risks in safety and production. Otherwise, the concept can be interpreted as the process of establishing a minimum safe level of service that will help it to ensure that all functions are performed as intended by the manufacturer. At the same time, the minimum level means the maximum possible reduction in maintenance costs while reducing financial and environmental risks.

The essence of the equipment RCM analysis is that the company determines the list of assets that have the highest economic value, and then sets the minimum acceptable level of service for it. Such assets include those that are used to generate net income, ensure production safety and operational efficiency.

In Russia, the strategy has not yet become widespread and is only starting gaining popularity, while in Western Europe and the United States, more than a thousand enterprises have successfully implemented a reliability management system and were able to evaluate not only its profitability, but also the ability to prevent critical failures in advance and improve control over production processes.

However, even government agencies in our country are slowly starting to use and implement RCM. For example, in 2020, AIS RSM, the state information system of Moscow, was developed and launched. With its help, information is kept about the objects of movable and immovable property of the capital and subsequent control over the effectiveness of their use.  

1. RCM is chosen for its undeniable advantages, including:

2. the ability to maintain equipment in good condition and extend the service life;

3. prevent and eliminate equipment failures and subsequent downtime;

4. reduce operating costs by 20% or more;

5. ensure safety for employees of the enterprise and the environment;

6. quickly pay back costs.

It is convenient to carry out RCM analysis of equipment through the introduction of automated management solutions that allow you to break it down into separate steps and perform it sequentially. A good example is the products of the German company SAP, which specializes in creating software solutions for managing business processes that can significantly simplify and speed up data processing within an enterprise.

Today, SAP solutions are a kind of construction set, consisting of separate modules that allow to connect all business processes in an enterprise in real time. The SAP RCM module allows you to describe the entire life cycle of equipment from the moment of its creation and ending with the transfer to the archive. It’s possible to work with both electronic documents and scanned versions, the possibility of updating documents and technical objects is provided, there is control over the timing of the task.

The RCM analysis methodology is suitable for enterprises of various industries and, with the right approach, ensures the optimization of preventive and diagnostic asset maintenance programs.